Farmer celebrates as mobile mast taken off land
A FARMER who claims a mobile phone mast on his farm made his life a "living hell" is celebrating the decision of Vodafone to remove it this week.
John Ryan has become an international campaigner for tighter regulations on mobile phone masts after suffering a host of health complaints following the installation of the mast on his farm in Daingean, Co Tipperary.
Vodafone has agreed to remove the mast almost five years after it was first erected, but said the decision was made because the lease was due to expire next week. Mr Ryan said he was overjoyed that the mast would finally be gone, but he would continue to campaign for stricter safety standards. His symptoms had included headaches, weakness, cramps and dizzy spells. Other members of his family had been affected.
Mr Ryan said his doctor had recognised he suffered from the effects of non-ionising microwave radiation and was highly electrosensitive - a fully recognised impairment in Sweden.
Vodafone had turned off the mast a couple of years ago, since when his symptoms had largely disappeared. "I could live in the Canaries for the rest of my life for the money mobile phone companies would pay to put up masts on my land, but your health has to be worth more than that," he said.
A Vodafone spokesperson said it was standard practice to remove a mast at the end of its lease and their legal team was in discussion with Mr Ryan's legal team regarding the details. There was "absolutely no question" of any liability or recognition of health problems.
Mr Ryan said there were very few inspections of mobile phone masts in this country. A group will tonight protest against a mast at Ronanstown Garda Station in Dublin, which they claim has caused a cluster of cancers among locals.
Mast Action Clondalkin claims there have been 17 deaths from cancer and several miscarriages in just 60 nearby houses. AIDEEN SHEEHAN