We'll save beauty spots from pylons, claims Minister
TOURISM Minister Leo Varadkar has said Ireland's most scenic beauty spots will be protected from monster energy pylons.
Mr Varadkar said the tourism development agency, Failte Ireland, would intervene to safeguard such beauty spots throughout the country.
There have been countrywide objections to EirGrid's controversial plans to upgrade the electricity network by erecting giant 45-metre pylons.
The proposals have also caused deep divisions within the junior government party.
Mr Varadkar said that while the country needed the new energy infrastructure, such widespread concerns about property values and the impact on tourism must be listened to.
"It is something that has to be taken account of at the planning process. Failte Ireland has specific remit to make observations where a development could impact on tourism and they will be doing that," he said.
Elsewhere, Labour leader Eamon Gilmore has moved to quell a rebellion within his party over the controversy.
Party TDs and senators have objected to proposed guidelines by junior minister Jan O'Sullivan to increase the height of wind turbines from 50 metres to 185-199 metres, without increasing the setback distance from houses, which has remained at just 500 metres.