If overground pylons were considered unsafe to be erected in the constituency of Health Minister James Reilly then the same should apply to South Tipperary and Waterford, according to Deputy Seamus Healy.
Deputy Healy said that concerns raised by Minister Reilly when the East-West inter-connector was being built were taken on board by Energy Minister Pat Rabitte and similar concerns now being raised by people in South Tipperary and Waterford shold now be listened to.
Deputy Healy said James Reilly, as a doctor and Minister for Health told Minister Rabbitte that “I am worried about the health risks from such magnetic fields” and he cited DCU-based public health expert, Professor Anthony Staines who had said “it is well established that the low frequency magnetic fields increase the risk of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia”.
“The connector through Dr Reilly’s constituency was always to be placed underground. Not alone was Dr Reilly concerned about the health risks from over-ground cables he was concerned about the health risks from underground cables as well” said Deputy Healy.
He said many sources have highlighted the health risks from the over-ground project Eirgrid plans for South Tipperary and Waterford which threatens some of the most scenic areas in the country, including the Galtee-Knockmealdown Valley, the heritage town of Cahir, the Golden Vale into Clonmel, the Valley of Slievenamon, the Suir Valley into Faugheen and Carrick-on-Suir and on into Waterford, the Comeragh Mountain Range, with its communities, its special areas of conservation and habitats will be affected.
“The citizens in Dr Reilly’s constituency are rightly protected by undergrounding and shielding but the citizens of County Tipperary and other counties can live with the health risks due to over-ground cables? This is completely unacceptable,” said Deputy Healy.