Opposition is mounting in the region against EirGrid’s proposal to bring a high power line through north Cork, south Tipperary and west Waterford. At present there are three proposed corridors under consideration.
At the recent meeting of South Tipperary County Council where members were briefed about the proposed development by EirGrid personnel, Clogheen-based Councillor Marie Murphy voiced her concerns, saying that if the route corridor through South Tipperary is selected, it will blight the beautiful valley between the Knockmealdown and Galtee mountains with pylons, an area where tourism is the main industry. Her fellow councillors voiced similar concerns.
Speaking to The Avondhu this week, Cllr Murphy said “it would be cracked to put pylons across that landscape.” People are being told there are no health issues, she said, but she wasn’t convinced. She also pointed out that the region is home to a number of protected species of birds and animals.
A public meeting is being organised by Burncourt Community Council to raise awareness of the matter, solicit people’s views and formulate a response. A public meeting on the subject is also being held in Cahir House Hotel next week.
Another person extremely concerned about the Tipperary section is Skeheenarinky resident Ed O’Riordan. He says the proposed powerline will consist of 200 13-storey high pylons strung across the county from Carrick-on-Suir to Knockraha via Slievenamon, Burncourt, Ballyporeen and Araglin, ignoring protected views.
Any short term benefits in construction of the €500M project will be heavily outweighed by the negatives, he believes. The desecration of the unspoilt landscape, damage to Tipperary’s reputation as being a clean unspoilt area for food production and a consequent loss of jobs, huge reduction in the value of properties and damage to tourism are just some of those negatives, he contends. It is his belief that the power line will feed a proliferation of wind turbines.
That view is shared by Cllr Bernard Leddy who warned of just that at a recent meeting of Lismore Town Council in west Waterford recently.
Undergrounding of such lines is the accepted technology in most countries, he points out. Cllr Marie Murphy believes it can be done, and says that, if a power line can be laid under the seabed between Ireland and Wales it is possible to underground power lines across the country.
Concern has also been expressed in areas of North Cork where the proposed corridors would traverse and there’s talk of public meetings being held in various different communities. In west Waterford its an issue that has also been spoken about at community council meetings and reported on in local newsletters with concerns raised about the possible effects on people’s health and properties.
People have until November 26 to make their submissions to EirGrid on the proposed development.
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