Tuesday 16 July 2019

Fine Gael TDs raise concerns over pylons

Communications Minister Alex White to meet TDs over Eirgrid
Communications Minister Alex White to meet TDs over Eirgrid

Niall O'Connor and John Downing

A delegation of Fine Gael TDs is to meet Communications Minister Alex White after serious concerns were raised over Eirgrid's pylon plans.

The planned North/South interconnector was discussed at last night's parliamentary party meeting after a motion was tabled by Cavan/Monaghan TD Sean Conlan.

Mr Conlan said there were concerns over the impact of Eirgrid's plans and that the company should hold a public consultation on an underground option.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny told the meeting he could not direct Eirgrid on what action to take.

But he added Mr White was likely to accommodate a meeting with a delegation of Fine Gael TDs.

Meanwhile, serious concerns have been expressed within the Labour Party over nursing home costs.

A meeting of the parliamentary party at Leinster House heard complaints about the HSE, with many of its members unhappy about a slow and poor response to their queries and advocacy on behalf of elderly people and their families.

Junior Minister Ann Phelan said there was a real need for the roll-out of more HSE-run voluntary homes.

She told the meeting that the costs associated with these facilities were much lower.

Ms Phelan called on the Government to become more innovative when it came to nursing home reform.

The party is to have a full discussion on the matter next week.

Once again there was support expressed for Labour TD Willie Penrose's proposals to slash the maximum term of bankruptcy from three years to one.

Environment Minister Alan Kelly said he was strongly behind the measures, although Fine Gael support appears to have cooled.

Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin spoke briefly about new public sector pay talks - but did not give any specific detail.

Irish Independent

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