Sinn Féin spokesperson on Climate Action, Communications Networks and Transport Darren O’Rourke TD today welcomed the opening of Eirgrid’s public consultation on the future of the electricity grid here, and says that if we are to successfully transform our electricity grid, the views of citizens and communities cannot continue to be ignored by the state-owned company.
The Meath East TD said:
“This public consultation on the future of our electricity grid is very welcome. But as people in my own county of Meath know too well, public engagement is of little use if the views of communities are ignored and indeed trampled on.
“Eirgrid have spent more than a decade ignoring the express wishes of communities in Meath, Cavan and Monaghan on the North-South Interconnector.
“What’s more, they have engaged in double-speak and deflection and have deliberately avoided addressing the legitimate arguments of well-informed locals, none more so than the North East Pylon Pressure Campaign (NEPPC) group.
“Whether Eirgrid are ready to meaningfully engage and alter their pre-prepared plans will be a litmus test for their new public engagement strategy and on their ability to deliver much-needed infrastructure upgrades. The undergrounding of the North-South Interconnector will be the test case.
“The fact that Eirgrid are steadfast in their opposition to the undergrounding of the North-South Interconnector does not inspire confidence that they care what the public actually think or want.
“Eirgrid need to start listening, as a box ticking exercise is of no use.
“People in Meath, Cavan and Monaghan appreciate and understand the need for the interconnector, but they don’t want huge pylons and high voltage power lines towering over their homes and communities. They want to see the line undergrounded.
“This new consultation also seeks opinions on how we decide where new renewable energy projects should be located and how we will move electricity to where it’s needed in the future.
“These are important questions that will impact for example, where onshore and offshore wind farms are located in the future, and people should make their opinions known.
“I would encourage everyone to read the consultation document, and to make a submission, both on the wider consultation, and on the North-South Interconnector specifically.
“It is imperative that people in Meath, Cavan and Monaghan make their voices heard on the need to underground the North-South Interconnector.
“The consultation is open until 12 noon on 14th June 2021. Submissions can be made on Eirgrid’s website, via post to EirGrid, Freepost FDN 5312, 160 Shelbourne Road, Ballsbridge, D04 FW28, or via email to [email protected].”