Locals brand court ruling on plans to build 138km interconnector 'outrageous'
Locals have labelled a decision to refuse an objection against the construction of the North-South electricity connector as "outrageous".
A bid to overturn An Bord Pleanála's planning permission to EirGrid for the 138km interconnector pipeline was thrown out in the High Court by Mr Justice Max Barrett.
The project includes an overhead line circuit linking an existing substation in Woodland, Co Meath, with a planned substation in Turleenan, Co Tyrone.
But community groups which had objected to the proposal were dismayed at the court's decision.
Fianna Fáil councillor Damien O'Reilly said that to see the work community groups have done over 10 years dismissed was "very outrageous".
Deputy Shane Cassells said there was "more fight in the people still to come" and suggested an appeal was being readied by community groups for the decision.
Judge Barrett said the application to quash the Bord's decision to grant approval was "respectfully refused by the court". He said that the applicants, North East Pylon Pressure Campaign Ltd and Ms Maura Sheehy, who were "living in a beautiful part of Ireland", understandably object to the interconnector being built upon their properties, by their homes or across their townlands.
"But when it comes to the decision of An Bord Pleanála to grant approval to EirGrid, the court is coerced as a matter of law into concluding that there is no lawful basis that would justify it granting any of the reliefs the applicants seek," the judge said.
Although the amount of material before the court was extensive, it could not but note the vastness of the enterprise undertaken by the inspector.
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