Farmer on why he'd rather go to jail than allow pylons 'see the light of day'
My week: Edgar Eakin
Edgar Eakin is very unhappy with Eirgrid who have just got the green light from the planning board to put power lines across his farm in Corduff in Co Monaghan. And like most of his neighbours, is considering how best to fight the decision. The High Court beckons, it appears.
He maintains the controversial power line is being "bullied through the countryside" by the authorities who simply refuse to listen to farmers and rural dwellers who want the power lines put underground.
The immediate effect of the decision, which will see the pylons within 120m of his 100ac farm, will be to devalue his land and the consequential outcome will be to restrict any type of rural housing within the energy zone pencilled in by Eirgrid.
"About 98pc of the people living in this area are against the pylons and many have said they would prefer to go to jail than to allow them see the light of day in this locality but that is going to cost money in court actions so we will see what happens," the 44-year-old dairy farmer says.
He says it is ironic that these Eirgrid pylons cannot be located near chicken coups because of their adverse effects on the fertility of chickens but there is absolutely no equivalent fertility effect on cattle and cows.
Edgar is married to Carol and the couple have four young school-going children - Kyle (16), Jamie (14), Jeffrey (12) and Jessica (8) - and he milks an 80-strong herd of Holsteins supplying Lakelands who provided a healthy 38.5c/l in his January milk cheque.
"It's a good price," Edgar says, "but I hear it may not last,"
This is the fourth generation of the Eakins to farm in Corduff, where a variety of farming enterprises have been undertaken down the years. Edgar himself started farming at the tender age of 16 when after he did his Green Cert at Gurteen College.