Community warns that planned pylons could destroy local environment

A South Tipperary community is gearing up for a battle to prevent massive Eirgrid pylons invade their beautiful environment.

A South Tipperary community is gearing up for a battle to prevent massive Eirgrid pylons invade their beautiful environment.

Skeheenarinky, under the beautiful backdrop of the Galtee mountains, could have a line of 400kv pylons and cables running through it as the area is part of Project Study Area under consideration by Eirgrid as part of the planning process for a power line linking Leinster and Munster.

Concerned residents have called on local residents who may not yet be aware of the plan to write submissions outlining their concerns to Eirgrid.,

“These enormous 44 metre-high pylons carry seven cables with 400kV of electricity. The pylons are the very big ones you can see in the midlands region. There are four every kilometre, and the only safety stipulation that relates to houses in their path is that the pylons should not be constructed closer than 23 metres to dwellings. Twenty-three meters is not very far when we are talking about structures that are 44 metres tall,” said Ed O’Riordan.

The process is now at the second stage and people who want to voice their concerns may not have another opportunity to do so warns Mr O’Riordan.

“At stage one, many other communities, groups and individuals made their submissions identifying the “constraints”, reasons why Eirgrid should not build near them, that should be taken into consideration by Eirgrid. We in Skeheenarinky seem not to have been aware that we are in the study area. Those of us who remember the building of the motorway through our community by the NRA will recall a similar “consultation” process when a number of routes were identified and then one chosen. Eirgrid needs to hear that the community of Skeheenarinky are very opposed to pylons and high voltage cables coming through here,” said Mr O’Riordan.

He cited many reasons why locals should object including the effects on the environment, plants, animals and birds, the landscape, the archaeology and the areas of special conservation, but most importantly because of the health and well-being of the people of the area.

“It is not known if there is a proven scientific link between Electro Magnetic Fields and childhood cancers, but Dr. David Carpenter, Dean at the School of Public Health, State University of New York believes it is likely that up to 30% of all childhood cancers come from exposure to Electro Magnetic Fields (EMFs),” said Mr O’Riordan.

“It is suggested that the most ‘cost effective’ route would be alongside national roads so that the pylons and cables can be easily accessed for repair or maintenance. If the people of this community do not make their voices heard in objection and EirGrid agree with that suggestion, then it will seem they had an easy decision. Whether the High Voltage cables and pylons go alongside the M8 or across farms and forestry, we could be the easy option if we don’t make ourselves aware and take action,” he warned.

Locals have until October 22 to make submissions. If you want to check out offices where you can get more information or make a verbal submission, there is one in Oikoseen House, Midleton, open every Monday from 12 noon to 6pm. There is another office in Carrick Community Business Centre, Carrick-on-Suir, open on Tuesdays at similar times.

“There are a number of schools in the area, the areas is a beauty spot and if we don’t make a submission now it could be too late. This would destroy our area if it actually went ahead and we have to work now to ensure it does not take off,” warned Sean Landers.