Protesters picket County Hall as Meteor defies council over phone mast

MORE than 50 people who held a protest outside County Hall yesterday heard that Cork County Council is to take a mobile phone company to court to force it to remove a controversial mast.

Carrying placards which asked the local authority to protect its people, the protesters said they were deeply concerned about the continuing operation of the Meteor mobile phone mast at New Square, in Mitchelstown.

While health concerns were their major priority, the protesters added that many of them had been unable to receive RTÉ TV signals since the mast became operational at the end of last January.

The mast is placed on Mrs Quinn’s charity shop.

Sheila Corbett, a mother of three young girls, is fearful for her children’s health. One of her girls held a placard stating she couldn’t see Dora or Barney because of Meteor.

“My grandmother lives in the area. She’s terribly worried about her health and has no TV reception,” Diarmuid Mullins said.

Deputy Ned O’Keeffe, who attended the protest, said: “I’m here objecting to this mast on health and safety grounds.”

Standing orders were suspended to discuss the issue.

Cllrs Kevin O’Keeffe and Frank O’Flynn explained that, on June 5, officials decided the mast needed planning permission and Cork County Council issued an enforcement order.

Meteor has applied for retention, but, it was stated yesterday that this application isn’t valid.

Cllr Liam O’Doherty said: “They [Meteor] could take this to An Bord Pleanála and that could take 12 to 15 months. The least residents can expect it to have the mast turned off.”

County manager Martin Riordan said officials were preparing to take Meteor to court because the company hadn’t complied with the enforcement order issued in Mitchelstown.

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