Monroe meeting hears opposition to Eirgrid plan

Aileen Hahesy

Reporter:

Aileen Hahesy

Up to 250 people attended a public meeting on the controversial Grid Link power line project at Monroe Sports Complex near Clonmel on Monday night.

Up to 250 people attended a public meeting on the controversial Grid Link power line project at Monroe Sports Complex near Clonmel on Monday night.

The information meeting, organised by Fine Gael county councillors Michael Murphy and Tom Acheson, attracted residents living along the 1km wide route corridor option passing through the heart of South Tipperary that Eirgrid is considering as a possible location for the 400kv power line that will be carried by 45m high pylons.

Cllr Murphy said the meeting attracted residents from areas stretching from east of Cahir, Moorstown, Poulmucka, Clerihan and Lisronagh out to Kilsheelan and Ballypatrick, all areas where the route corridor option passes through. Monroe Sports Complex is also located within the route corridor option, which is one of several being considered by Eirgrid.

“There is definitely a lot of concern among the public about this project. The main concerns highlighted at the public meeting were the impact the power line would have on property values, people’s health and the on the general landscape,” he said.

He said the purpose of the meeting was to inform the public about the Grid Link power line and the route corridor going through their area as they felt there was a lot of people still unaware of the project.

They also wanted to encourage members of the public concerned about the powerline being located in their area to lodge submissions to Eirgrid by the deadline date of November 26.

Apple farmer Con Traas addressed the meeting on the powerline’s possible impact on tourism, Clonmel auctioneer John Fitzgerald spoke on the project’s impact on property values while Fermoy based agricultural consultant Richard Collins gave advice on how to make a submission to Eirgrid. Other speakers voiced concerns about the impact the powerline would have on wild life and spoke about the geology of the area.

Cllr Murphy appealed to residents to ensure their concerns about the project were heard by making a submission to Eirgrid by November 26. Meanwhile, Independent TD Mattie McGrath is organising another public meeting about the Grid Link power line in Cahir House Hotel next Tuesday, October 29 at 8pm. He has voiced outright opposition to the route corridor options going through South Tipperary and said he would challenge the Minister for Communications Pat Rabbitte in the Dail on Thursday about the project.“Protected views from Slievenamon and along the Knockmealdown and Galtee range will be irretrievably damaged if these plans go ahead,” he said.