EirGrid tactics of bribery and propaganda set a new low for a semi-state company

January 21, 2018

Media Release from North East Pylon Pressure Campaign (NEPPC)

20 January 2018

Link to Transcript of LMFM interview:

The Head of Public Relations for EirGrid recently took to the airwaves to highlight their plans for the North-South Interconnector, outlining that the company is confident and optimistic that the two impending Government Reports will not provide any surprises and that planning will soon be granted in Northern Ireland. So the view of EirGrid is that there are no more obstacles to them starting construction this autumn, with completion by the end of 2020.

NEPPC wishes to make the following statements and clarifications with regards to EirGrid’s claims made during the interview on LMFM:

  1.  The tone and tenor of the statements by EirGrid displayed a complete disconnection from the real world. The statements also displayed a complete contempt for the issues and concerns raised by local communities and landowners for the last 10 years.
  2. Contrary to EirGrid’s upbeat assertions it is important to note that the An Bord Pleanála (ABP) approval was not complete and is subject to a number of significant conditions. A key one of these is that the approval does not include access to the lands where the pylons are proposed to be constructed. EirGrid had a significant number of errors in their planning application related to access routes through landowners’ properties. The ABP approval, although it approves construction of the pylons, has not approved any single one of the 584 access routes required through the lands in order to carry out construction. EirGrid has the responsibility of trying to get over 400 landowners to grant access to their lands. But 97% of these landowners have signed up official ‘Forms of Authority’ to NEPPC and to Monaghan Anti Pylon Committee (MAPC) requesting that we solely represent their interests, and stating that no access will ever be granted to EirGrid. They do not even want to talk to EirGrid, because of the disgraceful way the company has acted over the last 10 years. The Forms of Authority provide the protection for landowners that EirGrid, or any of its agents such as the ESB or ESB Networks Ltd., cannot contact or harass any landowners directly.
  3.  EirGrid’s plans are to divide and conquer communities with compensation and propaganda. The company’s plan is to ‘ sit down with the Irish Farmers’ Association and strike a deal’ on compensation as they recognise that farmers will have to ‘take a hit’ . But NEPPC has already met with the IFA and it supports the NEPPC position of standing alongside its farmers in solidarity against EirGrid’s unnecessary and unwanted project. If Eirgrid wants to ‘strike a deal’ it will have to so with NEPPC & MAPC on undergrounding the lines.
  4.  EirGrid also plans to use electricity consumers’ monies from our ESB bills to hand out payments to local community organizations in a bid to bribe communities into acceptance of the company’s 400,000 volt lines and pylons. It is not acceptable for a monopoly semi-state company to make unaccountable and unchallenged decisions to hand out vast sums of electricity consumers’ monies as a means of furthering its own agenda.
  5.  EirGrid yet again misled the public on air regarding underground vs overhead line costs, stating that the overhead option was found to be 3-4 times more expensive than undergrounding in a 2012 Independent Report. This is classic EirGrid, taking the numbers out of context. The Report cited 3 underground technology options, one of which would have been cheaper than EirGrid’s published costs, which do not even include any of the ‘deals’ it plans to strike or the community gain spending. These statements on cost are noting but an encouragement to landowners and communities to remain united against the company’s plans.
  6.  The final statement by EirGrid where it completely dismisses any health concerns is beyond belief. The EirGrid PR man states that:

‘… the Draper Report. And there was a link that he made in association with Childhood Leukaemia…… However, we can assure your Listeners that it is safe. They are safe. And that they, there’s hundreds if not thousands of kilometres of them, all round Ireland. And they are proven to be safe.

EirGrid has no expertise in Electromagnetic fields. It has no competency to assure anyone as to the safety of the 400,000 volt lines. There are thousands of research papers highlighting the association of these lines with many serious diseases, including childhood leukaemia. It is highly irresponsible to state that they are ‘proven to be safe’. The reality is that, despite a Government commissioned report on this subject as far back as 2007 recommending an agency being appointed to look into this area and for a database of information to be collected – nothing has happened.

Ends –

Link to Transcript of LMFM interview:

Further information:

087 680 36 66;www.nepp.ie

Filed under: Press Releases 2018


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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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