Fianna Fail candidate launches new attack on Government's pylon plans
A leading anti-pylons campaigner has launched a renewed attack on Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte over the government's controversial pylons plans.
Kieran Hartley, who is a Fianna Fáil European election candidate in Ireland South, has accused the minister of backing a plan which will result in "environmental vandalism".
Speaking at the Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis in Killarney, the father-of-two said Eirgrid's proposals to erect 1,300 pylons across the country will be strongly opposed.
Mr Hartley, who is Waterford-based, claimed the government is supporting "the most divisive and destructive plan imposed on rural Ireland".
"The sense of betrayal and anger amongst rural communities is palpable. This was done without any proper consultation, any environment impact assessment," Mr Hartley told delegates.
"In fact, to date, there has been no cost benefit analysis done. This has been the most divisive and destructive plan imposed on rural Ireland," he added.
Mr Hartley has been one of the most vocal opponents to the Government's controversial pylons plans, which he claims will put the health of rural residents at risk.
Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte told Mr Hartley to "behave yourself" during a TV3 debate on pylons last month.
In response to that reference during his address to the Ard Fheis, Mr Hartley accused Mr Rabbitte of bringing "arrogance to a new and special level".
"This is the minister that told me I ought to behave myself. I'm reminding minister Rabbitte it is he who ought to behave himself and start to listen to the genuine concerns of rural communities," he said.