Protesters line up against pylon plan

A TWELFTH century abbey, used in the filming of Mel Gibson’s Braveheart, was the scene of a massive demonstration yesterday as protestors formed a human chain to highlight their opposition to a planned pylon project in the northeast.

More than 2,500 demonstrators from several counties — all opposed to plans for a high voltage electricity power line in the area — descended on Bective Abbey in Co Meath.

The words ‘No Pylons Here’ were placed in a nearby field in 27 metre high letters and protestors who travelled from counties Cavan, Meath and Monaghan to the Cistercian abbey linked arms to form a circle around the slogan.

The abbey, on the banks of the River Boyne, is in the line of the proposed string of pylons.

Yesterday’s protest, organised by campaign group North East People Against Pylons, is the first of a series planned to block the overhead power line.

The group warned of possible health risks and damage to the local heritage and property values if the proposed 400KV line goes ahead.

Electricity transmission company EirGrid are assessing three routes for the line through either the west or middle of Co Meath or Cavan before linking up with the network in the North.

Chairman of North East People Against Pylons, Francis Lally said: “Putting high power electricity cables above ground is a bad idea. It is bad for people’s health. It is bad for the values of land and houses, bad for the environment and for our precious heritage. The safer and better way — and the less costly way in the long run — is to put the cables underground”.

Protesters also travelled from counties Tyrone and Armagh where they are engaged in a campaign against a similar proposal by Northern Ireland Electricity.

A decision on the project is to be announced early in the New Year and a Dáil debate is also planned.

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