'There’s no way this line will be built' – Anti pylon groups vow to oppose Eirgrid’s interconnector
EirGrid’s compensation offers amount to a ‘Declaration of War’ according to campaigners
The decision to approve the northern section of the interconnector in Armagh and Tyrone has made anti pylon campaigners in three counties in the Republic even more determined to oppose EirGrid’s plans.
“If the landowners stick together, there’s no way this line will be built,” according to Padraig O’Reilly of the North East Pylon Pressure Campaign, representing the interests of objectors from Meath, Cavan and a part of Co. Monaghan. He was speaking at a meeting on Monday night of landowners affected by the pylon plan in the Kingscourt area of Co. Cavan.
Both the NEPPC and its related group, the County Monaghan Anti Pylon Committee, are adamant that farmers and landowners will refuse EirGrid or its agents access to their lands when the company attempts to begin construction of the 400kV high voltage line.
Nigel Hillis of the CMPAC said: “The planning approval in the North changes nothing as far as the local landowners in Monaghan are concerned. There is zero acceptance for the pylons. The landowners remain totally resolute, as a meeting last November in Lough Egish showed. That will remain their position.”
Mr Hillis said EirGrid would probably go full steam ahead now with the project. But he did not see how they could progress when they could not get access to property they needed to traverse to carry out the construction work for the pylons.
“They don’t have planning permission for the 584 access routes, so EirGrid’s liaison officers can’t negotiate with them.” He said he could foresee standoff situations developing at farm entrances.
“Let me make it clear to EirGrid. The landowners – 97% of them – absolutely and totally object to the pylons plan and remain steadfast. They will resist the overhead line to their utmost and will not allow EirGrid access,” Mr Hillis said.