Fears voiced over Eirgrid's biggest job beyond Dublin

Stephen Fernane

A public meeting in Moyvane has raised concerns over Eirgrid's planned construction work which residents fear will impact their homes and businesses if their main issues are not addressed.

The work, which is estimated to take 18 months to complete and is the biggest project undertaken by Eirgrid outside Dublin, will see the main road through the village being dug in order to lay cables that will export energy to the national grid. But residents in Moyvane, Tarbert and Knockanure say they feel let down that greater consultation did not take place prior to the commencement of works.

The works - the second of two phases, one of which is already complete -  will bolster the national grid by distributing power generated through windfarms in north Kerry through a substation in Kilmorna, to the substation in Tarbert. 

A community group has now been formed in Moyvane tasked with conveying the concerns of people at last Wednesday's public meeting in Marian Hall to the management of Eirgrid in the coming weeks.

"We want to bring on board people's concerns over the shortcomings of works that have taken place in the first phase, and to ensure they don't arise in this second phase," said community group member, Padraig O'Connor.

He added that people, in general, feel there should have been more consultation and they want Eirgrid to hear their views and the shortcomings of previous works as a way of avoiding further disharmony in affected communities.  

"In many ways, we're helping Eirgrid to have a smoother process in the second phase. As a community we feel there is a three-way process involving Eirgrid, Kerry County Council - because the works will impact on the roads - and the community. 

"The community is the most important to us as the project is hugely disruptive to businesses, commuters and schools."

Padraig continued: "We just want to be proactive and have all the processes working well so the community can get through this 18-month period with the least amount of disruption and inconvenience. 

"We also want focus and supports put in place for our business people. They have been severely affected in previous occasions when there was works going through the village."

The timeline and objective of the works is a 220/110 kV substation in North Kerry that connects into an existing 220 kV transmission line that runs from the Tarbert substation to the Clashavoon substation in County Cork. This will connect into the existing 110 kV transmission lines, which runs from Tarbert to Trien, and from Trien to Dromada in County Limerick.