I am aghast at the notion that Eirgrid would even consider the route through scenic Lismore, Co Waterford as an option to upgrade the electricity grid for Ireland.
The thought of putting massive 150 foot electricity towers through a heritage town and down the Blackwater and Bride Valleys is unthinkable.
The route that Eirgrid is considering crosses the Blackwater below Cappoquin, and proceeds up through Lismore towards Tallow to the top of the valley. From there it goes down the Bride Valley through Conna down to Knockraha. The corridor comes within a few hundred metres of the Blackwater Community School in Lismore where over 700 students are enrolled. Who in their right mind could have possibly come up with this route?
The implications on tourism are immense, not to mention ruining one of the most scenic areas of the country. This Heritage Town relies on tourists. We moved to Lismore for the undisturbed beauty of the town and surrounding area. From the top of the valley, you can see from Dungarvan to Mitchelstown with the Comeragh, Knockmealdown and Galtee mountains as a backdrop.
If the proposal goes through, the pylons will be seen by most of West Waterford. At the moment, the property value of anyone who is in or near one of the “preferred corridors” has gone down to nothing. We weren’t notified by Eirgrid that our home is directly in one of their 1km-wide routes. Some residents are slow to realise what the implications of the plan will mean to the area. The information sessions were not advertised in the Dungarvan Leader or Observer, which I feel is an attempt to bypass any organised resistance in West Waterford. I was not given the opportunity to attend the public information meetings because they were over before I even knew the plan existed.
It is time for all people of the area to stand up and object before the Nov 26 deadline. If this goes ahead, it will deface this beautiful town. Heritage status should tell Eirgrid that Lismore is off limits! Where are the Minister of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan and the Minister of Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar? The tourists who come to our area from the UK and the USA are the lifeblood of business in Lismore and all of West Waterford. We are proud of our heritage town designation and all the awards the people of Lismore have worked so hard to achieve.
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