O’Dea supports phone mast protest

THE State forestry agency Coillte makes more than €1.8 million a year by allowing phone masts and other installations on its lands, Defence Minister Willie O’Dea said yesterday.

Mr O’Dea is supporting local opposition in the Murroe area of Limerick to a plan for a mobile phone mast in a nearby forest.

Mr O’Dea said: “I have been told Coillte have 185 masts in forests and earn €10,000 rent yearly for each.” He said it would not be worth Coillte’s time to proceed with its plan.

A public meeting called by the Murroe Anti-Mast Group which is objecting to a phone mast proposal drew more than 300 people to the local Muintir na Tíre hall at the weekend.

Mr O’Dea and other Oireachtas and county council members addressed the meeting.

“I have spoken to the Minister of State in the Department John Browne and asked that the opposition in Murroe be taken on board and he is to get back to me tomorrow,” he said.

A spokesman for the objectors said: “The scenic area of the Clare Glens where it is proposed to site the mast is one of the most treasured natural resources in north Munster.”

The action group said that the level of opposition should persuade Coillte to reconsider the situation.

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