Saturday 24 February 2018

Ministers misjudged the public mood over pylons

Taoiseach Enda Kenny,TD
Taoiseach Enda Kenny,TD

THERE is little doubt that the pylon controversy has left the Government looking inept and many backbench Fine Gael and Labour activists, especially those along grid routes, embarrassed and worried about potential losses in the local government elections and the next general election.

On his much publicised 'tour of Arabia', Taoiseach Enda Kenny linked concerns about the EirGrid pylon corridors to future employment and emigration, while the Minister for Energy, Communications and Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte, appeared to dismiss objections to the project as representing little more than "the whim of some passing fashion".

It is now clear both men misjudged the public mood in relation to the issue. Now, in the teeth of stubborn public opinion, it seems that the stance of both has changed rather dramatically.

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