Fingal Independent

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EirGrid take legal action against five Rush campaigners



EIRGRID has defended its actions in serving five members of Rush Community Council with injunctions barring them from obstructing works on its controversial interconnector line through the town. The company has rejected charges that the injunctions were served in an intimidating fashion, saying that a sworn affidavit from the man who served the papers confirmed that the task was 'carried out in a professional and courteous manner'.

The company has also rejected claims that there was any commitment not to proceed with works until the completion of a KEMA safety report and said that report will be completed before cabling is laid next summer.

Spokesperson for Eirgrid, Valerie Hedin, told the Fingal Independent that plastic ducting was the only thing being laid at the moment in Rush and that cables would not be pulled through until the summer of 2011.

She said that the project could not have been delayed further without incurring huge costs of the order of € 12 million which would be ultimately passed on to the energy consumer.

The company said that all aspects of health and safety had been covered in the planning process for the project and that it would be 'irresponsible' for the company not to proceed.

Ms Hedin said that Eirgrid was ' 100% sure that the cable is safe and does not pose any health and safety risks to anyone'. The company said work was stopped by protesters last Wednesday and there were significant delays caused to the project by further protests on Thursday. It was these delays that prompted the company to take legal action, it said.

EirGrid Project Director John Fitzgerald said: ' Some work was completed last week on this vital project but works were delayed last week but it is essential that works now continue on this underground cable in Rush as every day's delay would add € 100,000 to the cost of the project, and this goes directly to electricity customer's bills.'

'EirGrid has been mandated to deliver this vital electricity link which is of national interest in terms of the benefits it brings.'

Mr Fitzgerald said: 'The people of Rush have nothing to fear from the interconnector. We would not be developing the interconnector, or using this technology, if there was a risk to a single person living anywhere along the route.'