Sinn Féin County Councillor John Brady has labelled the government’s announcement that it intends to set up an independent investigation into the undergrounding of high voltage powerlines as a con job, aimed at trying to fool the electorate ahead of the May Local and European elections.
Cllr Brady said “The proposed construction of these powerlines using overhead pylons has caused considerable controversy and concern here in Wicklow. Groups have been set up in South West Wicklow in the Carnew and Baltinglass areas to oppose the overhead pylons. It is the hard work and perseverance of the campaigning communities involved and the huge level of submissions received in the consultation process that has finally brought the government to this point”.
Brady continued “The government’s proposal to set up an independent investigation, chaired by retired Supreme Court Justice Catherine McGuinness, to examine the prospect of undergrounding of high voltage powerlines is con job that is just an election stunt to save the skins of Labour and Fine Gael councillors and MEPs in May”.
“It appears that potential health implications of over-ground pylons appeared to be excluded from the review and that there was no health expert on the panel. It is essential that all implications are analysed in the review and the preparation of these reports must be transparent, comprehensive and most importantly they should listen to all the expert evidence as well as the voices of the communities opposed to the construction of the pylon network” continued Brady
Brady concluded “The technology now exists to efficiently underground high voltage electrical cables. Many counties such as Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom routinely bury cables and Ireland needs to follow suit. What we need is political will and not political election stunts”.