In 2010 EirGrid announced its plan to develop and upgrade the electricity transmission network from now until 2025. Its aim was to put in place a safe, secure and affordable electricity supply throughout Ireland. It was to be a major undertaking which would take several years, represents an investment of €3.2bn.

The plan involves extensive construction work to be carried out across the country, which includes building 800km of new power lines and upgrading 2,000 km of existing lines which will double the size of today’s electricity grid.

The plan requires the construction of a number of interconnecting powerlines throughout the country. In early September EirGrid published the finding of a report that outlined a number of feasible 1km route corridor options for a new 400kv power line linking Leinster and Munster.

EirGrid say the €500m project will connect substations in Knockraha in Cork to Dunstown near Kilcullen in Kildare via Great Island in Wexford ensuring a reliable and high-quality electricity supply for the homes, farms and businesses in the region for the future.

John Lowry, the Grid Link Project Manager, commented: “The Grid Link Project will provide a platform for economic growth and job creation in the south and east. A region with a high-quality, secure supply of electricity is best placed to attract inward investment that will bring employment and prosperity. EirGrid encourages participation from all interested parties in this public consultation and welcomes feedback to inform the next stage of the project.”

EirGrid has also planned for a power line of more than 400 pylons linking Meath with Tyrone.The construction of the power lines will require the installation of hundreds of pylons along the routes as well as stations and substations and uprating of existing lines.

The North East Pylon Pressure (NEPP) has voiced its opposition to the project in the north east. It has numerous concerns including health issues, landscape, tourism, land and property devaluation among more. It is there belief that the system should be put underground.

The NEPP has planned a protest meeting, entitled ;Monster Wake-Up’. The meeting takes place at 8pm in the Knightsbrook Hotel, Trim, Co. Meath tonight, 5 November.

A spokesperson for NEPP said: “Some people in the area affected by the Meath, Cavan, Monaghan and Tyrone EirGrid project may be under the illusion that the scheme has gone away. Nothing could be further from the truth. Tomorrow’s meeting is to raise awareness of the fact the EirGrid is about to lodge a second application for planning permission for these enormous to be built on peoples lands,” he continued.

“NEEP has consistently demanded and will continue to demand that the grid be upgraded, but underground not pylons. There are many reasons not least health, land value, tourism, damage to the environment, intrusion on farming and ecological upheaval.”

A large turnout is expected.