Calls for an independent cost benefit analysis of the Grid Link project and the underground V over ground option have been reiterated by local politicians.
Labour TD, Jack Wall stressed; “This is a project which is going to be there for eternity and we should make sure everything is protected - the environment, the scenery, the landscape and people’s health.”
He wants the decision on the project to wait for the publication of a new World Health Organisation report on electro-magnetic fields, which is due this year. He also wants the cost benefit analysis to look at the need for such a huge infrastructural project.
Meanwhile, Fianna Fail TD, Sean O’Fearghail stressed his party has called for an independent international assessment.
“The Taoiseach’s outrageous linking of emigration to this debate is nothing more than scare mongering. We have seen the Taoiseach employ this kind of misleading scare tactics before, in an attempt to bully people into supporting other Government campaigns.” He continued; “Ireland’s electricity infrastructure and transmission capability must be modernised and upgraded but it must be done in a way that is sensitive to genuine community concerns and in a way that is sustainable. Dismissing and ridiculing those who have a different opinion is neither sensitive nor sustainable.”
Meanwhile, An Taisce has pointed out a National Energy Policy is required with an Energy Savings Scheme to reduce demand and thus pylons. It said the lack of legislation for the European Landscape Convention means there is no basis to assess the impact on the landscape. Failte Ireland is concerned about the impact on tourism. Meanwhile, MEP, Phil Prendergast, has organised a conference entitled “Upgrading the National Grid- European Best Practice and Alternative Options” at 7pm in the Newpark Hotel, Kilkenny on Feb 14. It will focus on the costs and the benefits of high voltage underground networks, Electro-magnetic fields and their potential impact, and Grid Link or Grid Lock - The economic impact of pylons.