The GridLink Action Group, which is campaigning against EirGrid’s plans to build a high voltage power line through South Kildare to Cork, is urging locals to join a national protest on April 15.
“On Tuesday 15 April, at 11am, wind, pylon and substation opposition groups from all across Ireland will be joining together for a peaceful energy policy protest march from Parnell Square to the Dáil.
“We ask you to join us on this march, and as children are on easter holidays from school, we encourage you to bring them along, young and old joining together, to protest against EirGrid’s plans to build pylons in our community,” said a spokesperson for the group.
“We need to protect our landscape, our homes, our environment and our children’s health. Let’s show EirGrid and the Government that we will not sit idly by while they attempt to impose this upon us.”
GridLink Action Group is organising buses to this event which will leave St. Laurence’s GAA Complex at 9am. It is anticipated the bus will return at 4pm. The cost will be €5 per head.
Meanwhile, the group has called for accountability and transparency with regard to the independent pylon review panel. The Grid Link Action Group, representing concerned residents in the Kildare, West Wicklow and Laois areas, have called for clarity regarding the terms of reference.
Chairman for the Grid Link Action Group, Kieran Connors, stated he was “astonished” and “dismayed” by the lack of clarity regarding the role of this panel. “Eirgrid must be directed by our elected representatives to carry out a meaningful study on the most cost effective underground route. We believe that this solution must be assessed in isolation from the already identified overhead corridors as the most cost effective route would most likely be one that has not yet been identified by Eirgrid. “
“To limit the location of an underground viability study to any one existing Grid Link corridor would further serve to highlight the absolute failure of this entire process. To appoint a panel to oversee this process with a restricted brief would only serve to compound the failures and waste that have occurred to date”, said Kieran.
He said the group was not questioning the integrity of the panel or its members, but “it is clear that with local elections looming government party officials would like nothing more than for the Gridlink issue to go away”, he added.
He also slammed Eirgrid’s consultation process with local communities.
EirGrid has welcomed the review and given a commitment to participate fully with the panel. It has said it has been very clear from the consultations and the public debate that concerns exist in relation to the project. It stressed it is important that it listens and responds to these concerns in a meaningful way. It also announced a community fund for areas near the power line routes and a compensation for landowners living near the lines. The company had stressed it was not technically feasible to put the cables underground, and it would prove too costly.