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We need the facts about pylons

These pylon campaigns have been going on in this country and in Britain for more than eight years, and in that time we have been bombarded with information from all sides.

In Ireland, the information emanating from Eirgrid has been, to say the least, cleverly couched in technical terms, and inclined to promote division in communities.

Hands up those who know the essential difference between High Tension AC and DC current, and the different safe distances from their field effects?

The debate is focused on deciding whether to have overhead or underground lines. There is very little solid information or discussion on the actual need for these very high voltage lines. We have government ministers stating that we have to have these circuits for the security of our electricity supply in the future. Where is the evidence to back up those statements?

If the people’s money is to be spent on constructing these systems, they are entitled to be able to make a decision based on solid facts, not throwaway statements like, “we need this for attracting industry to our country”, and “If we take the underground option we will all be paying 3% extra for our electricity for the next 50 years”.

< What industries are going to be attracted here? Give us the facts, not aspirations. How are local communities going to benefit? There are unlikely to be any local connections to the system, so please explain to us, in simple terms, why we should support such a scheme? Is it true that there is a sufficient supply of electricity at the moment, and an oversupply at times?

Lay all the facts before the people and don’t pick and choose the bits that suit any particular vested interest.

If you have been misled by misinformation in the past, please be big enough to admit it. On the question of compensation for those house and land owners in the path of the proposed lines, whether over or underground, what are these amounts based upon? Did someone just think of them off the top of their head, or are they based on some measurable damage to the location or the people?

We are not a stupid race of people, despite being treated like mushrooms at times. Be honest and give us all the facts, I’m sure that we can handle them.

I have already signed an anti-pylon form simply because I was outraged at the prospect of these monstrous pylons blighting the landscape of our parish in the Blackwater Valley, a place of historic importance and amazing scenery. The river has often been favourably compared to the Rhine in Germany, a place of noted beauty.

It beggars belief that a body such as Eirgrid, whether State sponsored or not, can erect such massive pylons in our countryside without clearly explaining the reason, when at the same time the erection of a very small Community Alert sign has to go through a process of local authority approval.

Patrick J Geary
Co Waterford


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