Tuesday 19 September 2017

Power company denies cables are 'dangerous'

Fiach Kelly

THE routing of a €600m electricity line through the centre of a busy town has led to major health and safety fears.

But national electricity company Eirgrid -- which is routing the interconnector pipeline through the centre of Rush in north county Dublin -- said there were "absolutely" no health and safety issues with the development.

Eirgrid was granted permission by An Bord Pleanala last year to build the east-west interconnector linking Wales to Woodland in Meath, and work is due to start in weeks.

But the local community council has said two 500 megawatt cables running less than one metre under the main road of the town would be a major health concern.

"All the criteria is that it should avoid population centres," Rush Community Council spokesman Dave Sheehy said.

Mr Sheehy said studies published in the 'British Medical Journal' showed increased exposure to electromagnetic radiation increased health risks, particularly to children.

However, this claim is strongly disputed by Eirgrid, which said similar pipelines are regularly laid under towns.

The council asked that the cable be re-routed, as had been done in Ratoath in Co Meath.

Residents argue it is the "shallow depth" of the pipeline that presents a continuous health risk to people, as it will run adjacent to a national school and residential homes.

Locals have met with Communications Minister Eamon Ryan on the issue, and he has pledged to pass on their concerns to Eirgrid.

Irish Independent

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