independent

Thursday 24 April 2014

Eirgrid delay project to try to fix problem

INTERFERENCE MAY RETURN

EIRGRID HAS told local councillors that it is working to resolve interference on telephone lines caused by its interconnector project and has delayed the project ' going live' to look at the problem.

But the company has admitted that a solution may not be found before the interconnector line is switched on for commercial use and the interference experienced in some homes in Oldtown, Ballyboughal and Lusk may return. The company was making a presentation on the controversial issue to local councillors on the Balbriggan/Swords Area Committee. Project director for Eirgrid, John Fitzgerald stressed that the issue was not a health and safety risk.

He told councillors: ' There is no danger of damage to people or property.' He said it was more an issue of ' nuisance'. He said there was currently no telecom interference because the line was switched off but he admitted that the project would have to go live soon and there could be some interference when that happens. Mr Fitzgerald said that the company was working closely with Eircom to resolve the issue and said that the problem had been experienced elsewhere in the world with this type of line and those difficulties were resolved.

He said the company expected ' teething problems' in a project of this size and said that Eirgrid with the cooperation of Eircom, were ' trying to get a handle' on the issue. Cllr Ken Farrell (Lab) wanted a more detailed explanation of the issue and said there was ' never smoke without fire'. Cllr Ciaran Byrne (Lab) said that it was a real problem and the project could not interfere with people's telecoms but he said the important question was whether it was a health risk and he said he was 'reassured' that the issue would be examined by the Chief Medical Officer.

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