Sinn Féin TD for Cavan/Monaghan Matt Carthy has described the continued determination of EirGrid to proceed with their proposals to develop the North South Interconnector via overhead pylon-supported high voltage powerlines as ‘egotistical & costly’.
Teachta Carthy said that EirGrid have continually shown ‘complete disdain’ towards communities along the route of the Interconnector.
The Sinn Féin spokesperson on Agriculture’s comments come following an announcement that the Kildare-Meath 400kv line will now be undergrounded, making the North-South Interconnector the only element of EirGrid’s Grid 25 strategy which is intended to be completed using overhead technology.
Teachta Carthy said:
“The dogged determination of EirGrid to proceed with their plans to overground the North South Interconnector is egotistical and costly. Their position is causing immense undue stress and release in the local communities affected.
“The Interconnector will face continuing and expensive delays if they proceed with their current intent. The affected communities across Monaghan, Cavan, Armagh, Tyrone and Meath have clearly demonstrated that they will not accept the imposition of high voltage pylon-supported power-lines, particularly because there is a credible alternative.
“Undergrounding the interconnector is feasible and practical. This is in evidence once again as EirGrid have announced their Kildare-Meath 400kv line is set to be undergrounded. It is obvious that EirGrid have learned from their experience with communities along the route of the North South Interconnector, albeit not yet on that actual project.
“The fact that EirGrid have expressed such determination to press ahead with overhead pylons and lines in respect of the North-South Interconnector shows their ongoing disdain for the people of our region. It appears that their position is driven by ego and arrogance.
“In my view, this project will only ever be completed if the interconnector is undergrounded. If EirGrid refuse to adhere to the principals of public acceptance, deliverability and socio-economic impacts then the government must intervene.
“Recently, the Taoiseach reportedly informed a Fianna Fáil parliamentary party meeting that this project will be reviewed. But, the Ceann Comhairle disallowed parliamentary questions I submitted in this regard to Minister Eamon Ryan, on the basis that they didn’t relate to Government policy.
“Urgent clarification is therefore required from government as to the form, timeframe and terms of reference of this review.
“As the Dáil returns next week I intend to use every possible opportunity to seek assurances that the communities on the route of the North South Interconnector will finally be listened to”.