An ICMSA spokesman has told Agriland that the Government will have to change its policy regarding the development of a new power line infrastructure in many parts of the country.

“The idea of putting up pylons, which are equivalent in size to 17 storey buildings, in some of the world’s most productive dairying areas just won’t wash,” noted press officer Cathal MacCarthy.

“The Irish food industry has successfully managed to market its green clean image. Destroying the landscape and farming infrastructure throughout a selection of our most valuable agricultural regions constitutes the height of absolute folly.

“It’s time Ireland got ahead of the curve on this issue. And that will simply mean putting some of these cables underground.”

MacCarthy added: “There is a suspicion amongst some of our members that Eirgrid may have already made up its mind on this crucially important issue. If this is the case, then it’s hard not to conclude that the organisation may be only going the motions when it comes to hosting the current public review process. We will be keeping  a very close and watchful eye on this matter.

“We are not against the development of Ireland’s infrastructure. But it’s a question of balance. ICMSA is committed to ensuring that, where necessary, new cabling will be put underground.”

Speaking on radio recently Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney said a flexible approach would have to be taken when it came to settling the pylon issue. Minister Coveney also suggested that the possibility of putting at least some of the new cabling underground had not been ruled out by the Government.