Concern over ambitious EirGrid project

A national €500 million investment in a new high capacity power line by EirGrid, part of which may be constructed through South Tipperary, went on public display last week.

A national €500 million investment in a new high capacity power line by EirGrid, part of which may be constructed through South Tipperary, went on public display last week.

The state-owned agency organised an open day in the Clonmel Park Hotel on September 18, offering members of the public the chance to view the proposed scheme and route.

The ambitious Grid Link project aims to connect substations from Cork and Kildare and one of the proposed routes is through the Knockmealdown/Galtee valley.

Local TD Mattie McGrath is calling on EirGrid to to ensure that public consultations which it has planned with mebers of the public, are more than simply a platform where residents’ concerns are listened to and then dismissed.

Deputy McGrath said he is aware of the significance of the project but is deeply conscious of the many concerns expressed by constituents.

He believes EirGrid should travel to the communities and villages where work may be carried out in the future to meet with residents.

“Even though the proposed route is some kilometres from the Knockmealdowns, they will be highly visible from the mountain and especially from the Vee Valley. Tourism to the the Knockmealdown/Galtee valley relies to a huge extent on the unspoilt views which will be lost forever if the power lines go ahead on this route,” said Deputy McGrath. He said there are are many individuals and families who are genuinely concerned about issues relating to the electric and magnetic fields caused by these pylons and the possible health implications. EirGrid will accept feedback until November 26; routes can be viewed on eirgridprojects.com