Sinn Féin spokesperson on Climate Action, Communications Networks and Transport Darren O’Rourke TD, today said the only viable option for the North-South Interconnector to proceed is to put it underground.
His comments come as the Minister for Infrastructure in Stormont, Nichola Mallon MLA, today granted full planning permission for the interconnector in the north.
Speaking today, Deputy O’Rourke said:
“This project has been on the books for nearly 20 years now, and the local opposition to the pylons and high voltage lines proposed for counties Meath, Cavan and Monaghan is enormous.
“Sinn Féin have been steadfast in our position on the North-South Interconnector. We want to see the project proceed, but for it to be put underground.
“We understand the communities concerns and believe undergrounding this project is the right approach.
“This way the two electricity 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.
“Fine Gael’s Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee TD, previously said she her preference was that this project would be undergrounded as much as possible and not cause undue distress for individuals and communities impacted.
“Fianna Fáil’s Thomas Byrne TD, who is now also a government minister, previously committed to an independent review of the interconnector if Fianna Fáil got into government.
“So I’m calling on the Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil TDs in Meath to reaffirm their positions following this significant decision in the north.
“People deserve to know if they will stick to their word.
“Undergrounding the North-South Interconnector is the only viable option now, as local residents, farmers and community groups are united in their opposition to the 300 pylons and high voltage power lines that would cut right through their communities.”