Courtown residents ‘devastated’ as construction of controversial north Wexford mast begins

Cecil and Julie Alexander.

Amy LewisGorey Guardian

Residents who appealed against the decision to grant planning permission for an 18-metre telecommunication mast in Courtown have said that they are “devastated” to learn that the project is going ahead.

In May 2021, Eir applied for permission for ‘the construction of an 18-metre monopole support structure’ totalling 19.5 metres in height ‘carrying telecommunications antennas, dishes and associated equipment, together with new ground level equipment cabinets, fencing, landscaping and the removal of an existing disused wooden pole’.

A number of local people lodged appeals about the proposed construction, stating health concerns and obstruction of the area’s visual amenities as some of their reasons for doing so.

Despite this, An Bord Pleanála agreed with the decision already taken by Wexford County Council and granted permission with conditions.

While the group was initially hopeful that this decision would be overturned during the review of An Bord Pleanála, construction has now begun in the area.

"I’m absolutely devastated. I’m sitting here in my sitting room looking at a big digger through my window,” said Cecil Alexander, one member of the resident group that opposes the project. “I have been in contact with various ministers and TDs but I have had no satisfaction with that. They have come back and forwarded my emails on to other ministers.

It’s going ahead, much to our dismay and dissatisfaction and we don’t know what life holds for us after this.”