Saturday 24 March 2018

Vodafone is accused of attempting to erect phone mast without permission

VODAFONE was this week accused of attempting to erect a mobile phone mast in a North Cork village without planning permission.

Cllr Frank O'Flynn (FF) told this week's meeting of the council's Fermoy Area Committee that it was "disgraceful" that a "reputable company like Vodafone" would apparently attempt to put up a mast in Rathcormac without clearing it first with the local authority.

Cllr O'Flynn alleged that contractors, claiming to be working on behalf of Vodafone, twice attempted to erect phone masts in the Riverdale housing estate in the last week, only for residents to intervene.

On the second occasion both gardai and local area engineer Brendan O'Gorman were called to the scene.

"This could happen in Watergrasshill or Curraglass or anywhere.

"Are a reputable company like Vodafone now prepared to go out and put up masts without planning permission?" Cllr O'Flynn asked.

"It's a disgrace, and then to get another contractor to do their dirty work," he added.

Mr O'Gorman warned councillors against making comments on the situation while the council is still looking into it.

"We must be very careful how we go about this," he said.

"I don't think we should go about proclaiming on this issue on the public record while the matter is ongoing," he said.

Councillors Noel McCarthy (Lab) and Kevin O'Keeffe (FF) both described the erection of masts without permission as "unacceptable."

A spokesperson for Vodafone said the company is looking into the incident. "I can say firmly that Vodafone Ireland adheres to legal process and strict procedures in relation to planning permission for all sites," she said.