July 15, 2020
New Minister must listen to communities’ concerns over north-south interconnector – Darren O’Rourke TD

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Climate Action, Communications Networks and Transport, Darren O’Rourke TD, today raised concerns over how the proposed north-south interconnector could impact on communities in Meath, Cavan and Monaghan.
Teachta O’Rourke said:
“This morning I challenged the new Minister for Climate Action, Eamon Ryan, on the controversial north-south interconnector.
“I told the Minister that the plans for hundreds of pylons and 400 kV power lines cutting through counties Meath, Cavan and Monaghan, have been met with spectacular levels of local opposition, and that this project simply won’t proceed in its current form due to the massive local opposition.
“Minister Ryan confirmed he will not be ordering a new review into this project, and that the overhead power lines and pylons remain the choice of this government.
“The new Minister is set to repeat the mistakes of his predecessors. I warned him that this approach simply won’t work. He is on a collision course with local communities.
“At the heart of this issue is the fundamental principle of public participation in decision making.
“Without community engagement, approval and buy-in to major projects, the government will end up in the same situation every time, fighting with local communities for years, wasting millions of euro and getting nowhere.
“The communities in Meath, Cavan and Monaghan don’t want hundreds of pylons and high voltage power lines running through their areas.
“Sinn Féin have consistently said this interconnector should be put underground. The technology is there, it’s entirely feasible, but the government is refusing to move on the issue.
“By undergrounding the interconnector, the two grids on our island can be connected in a way that delivers benefits for the entire island, whilst also having the consent of communities along the route.”

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