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Power line row draws to a close  

Farmers in Kerry and Cork have learned that the contentious Bantry power line standoff had been brought to a successful conclusion.

The farmers concerned voted unanimously to accept a package put to them by ICSA president Malcolm Thompson, who was approached by developer Bob Murnane of Ballybane Wind Farms to mediate in the dispute, which had halted the progress of the electricity supply to the national grid.

The package includes the under-grounding of cable, the avoidance of key environmentally sensitive areas and lands with development potential and an adequate compensatory package for the affected landowners.

“I feel it was a reasonable deal and was therefore prepared to recommend it to the farmers and landowners,” said Mr Thompson.

“I would like to thank them for their commitment and co-operation.” The ICSA shares the concerns of the Bantry Concerned Action Group and has particular concerns about the recent tactics of the ESB all over Ireland. The rental payments made to farmers by the ESB are totally inadequate and have not been updated for more than 25 years, according to farmers. ICSA is continuing to lobby for a fair rental to farmers for crossing their ground and will insist that if and when ESB is privatised, the network cannot be leased to new owners without the consent of the farmers and without farmers participating financially in any such arrangement.

“Proper consultations with farmers and their representatives at the beginning of the process would have avoided all this unnecessary delay and costs.

“These farmers have fought for almost three years to defend their rights, their families’ health, and the environment,” said Dermot Kelleher of the ICSA.


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