Sunday 22 October 2017

Residents vow to disrupt high voltage pylon project

Sarah Stack

Sarah Stack

RESIDENTS of a coastal commuter town have threatened to disrupt work on one of the country's largest energy projects over safety concerns.

Homeowners in Rush, north Co Dublin, are campaigning to get Eirgrid to re-route a high voltage DC cable which will carry 500MW of power between Wales and Woodland in Co Meath.

Those opposing the E600m East-West Interconnector, which was given the go-ahead by An Bord Pleanala last year, want Eirgrid to consider an alternative route through an estuary on the outskirts of the town.

Some have vowed to block roads when contractors for the state-backed infrastructure project move in.

Concerned father-of-four Dermot Goode said: "I wouldn't have a mobile phone mast near my house or let my kids play near pylons, but they want to put this right under our feet and past the national school.

Convenience

"You couldn't have asked anyone to pick a worse place to put this. It's convenience over the risk to public safety."

Protesters claim similar DC cables do not go through a residential area anywhere else in Europe and carry more power than Ireland's largest power station, Moneypoint.

However, Eirgrid, a state-owned company mandated to develop the interconnector by 2012, has rejected safety fears.

It maintained the earth's natural magnetic field is higher than that from the cables and that a route through Rogerstown Estuary was dismissed because the waterway is protected under EU law as a special area of conservation.

A spokeswoman said: "We know there is a population in Rush but this would not have been approved by the World Health Organisation, Government and An Bord Pleanala if there was a health risk.

Irish Independent

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