EirGrid action to design and produce 400 pylons distils North-South Interconnector into one simple public decision – dictatorship or democracy

September 23, 2017

EirGrid has now put out to tender the design and fabrication of 400 pylon towers, each carrying 400,000 volts for the North-South interconnector project. Deadline for submission is October 20th .

EirGrid move into conflict mode

  •  This confirms that public acceptance is irrelevant to EirGrid’s strategy and plans. It puts EirGrid and ESB on a clear path of direct conflict and confrontation with landowners and communities in the North-East.
  • The tender confirms that the feasible and acceptable alternative of undergrounding will never be properly examined by EirGrid. The overhead line decision made in 2005 will not be reviewed despite 12 years of technological advancements.
  •  The provocative placing and timing of the tender is clear confirmation of EirGrid’s dictatorial approach on this project and its attitude of unaccountability to the democratic process in this country:
    1. The tender for 400 pylon towers includes 100 pylon towers for Northern Ireland, even though the project is still going through the planning process in NI and awaits a decision.
    2. The Fianna Fáil motion in February, supported by a majority in both the Dáil and Seanad calls on the Government to: ‘ ensure that no further work is done on the North-South Interconnector until this analysis and a full community consultation is completed’ This is being blithely ignored by EirGrid.
  •  The Independent Expert Group (IEG) study on undergrounding commenced in August and is due to finish in January. Placing a tender for 400 pylons prior to completion of this study renders the process a sterile exercise and makes a mockery of the spirit and thrust of the Dáil motion.

EirGrid could not proceed in flagrantly ignoring democratic process without the tacit approval of Minister Naughten and the Government. Furthermore, there is not a word of dissent from the Government elected representatives in the North-East. No Government elected representative is challenging this totally anti-democratic approach.
NEPPC is calling on landowners and local communities to stand firm against this discrimination. It is also calling on all opposition parties and independents to hold the Government to accountability on this matter. Otherwise local communities will rightly feel abandoned by the democratic process, which will only serve to delay further this project.
NEPPC wishes to make the following clear to EirGrid. It may dictate to Minister Naughten how it plans to proceed with the N-S interconnector. It may dictate to the DCCAE officials how it plans to proceed with the N-S interconnector. But when it enters the real world it will not dictate to affected landowners or communities any of its discredited plans. The ESB should also wake up to the damage that will be caused to its reputation by aiding and abetting Eirgrid in supporting direct confrontation with the farming community.

Ends –
Further information:
087 680 36 66;www.nepp.ie

Filed under: Press Releases 2017

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NEPP is the overall representative group for the people of Ireland's North East who advocate that high power electric cables should go underground.

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