Eirgrid, the semi state body which plans to build a large electricity cable from Kilcullen to the southeast of the country has been told they face “a hell of a fight” from local landowners.
Speaking a meeting of Kildare County Council today, Monday, October 21, Cllr. Martin Miley said that communities wanted to “stand up for themselves” were opposed to the company’s plans.
The meeting was interupted a number of times by members of the public from the gallery, so much so that Mayor Mark Wall threatened to suspend the meeting if they continued.
Eirgrid has said that the Grid Link Project which will link Leinster and Munster is a vital piece of infrastructure for the future economic development of the nation.
Cllr. Miley urged representatives of the company who appeared before the meeting to consider putting the lines underground.
However, the representatives from the company told the meeting that while they had certainly considered that option, it was not viable from a reliability, technical or economic point of view.
They said that they hoped to find a route for the line that would stay away from sensitive areas such as high density urban areas and SACs, but that if they had no choice, they would go underground if necessary.
They also argued that, from a health point of view, underground lines emitted more Electro Magnetic Fields (EMF) than overhead. In fact, they claimed that people were more at risk of EMF while in their own homes than from overhead lines.
Cllr. Tony O’Donnell urged the company to consider mono-poles, rather than the large pylons.
Cllr. Richard Daly thanked the company for their presentation, but admitted that he was “less happy” following the company’s presentation than before.
The company acknowledged that it is an emotive subject, saying they were trying to be as transparent in their decision making process as possible.