Ireland: plan to bring powerline challenge to European Court of HR

I'm transcribing this article, "Residents to go to Europe over 'huge fears' about power lines" published yesterday in the SUNDAY TRIBUNE.

I can recall predicting to Professor Brice Dickson some years ago, during one of my meetings with him, in Belfast on EHS and its misdiagnosis, when he was head of the N. Ireland Human Rights Commission and very sympathetic to our EHS campaign for medical recognition, that the mast issue rather than the old tribal warfares would soon become the biggest political issue on the island of Ireland. And so, my seer instincts have not been amiss! This IS the new warfare on this island: the right to good health versus the right to erect masts, powerlines, etc.

Best, Imelda, Cork

SUNDAY TRIBUNE, 16 DECEMBER 2007. Page 5 print edition.


Residents in the border counties are planning to take a court challenge to the European Court of Human Rights to prevent the construction of overland power lines through Armagh, Tyrone, Monaghan, Cavan and Meath. The state-owned company Eirgrid is planning two projects to facilitate cross-border sharing of electricity. These involve an 80km-long north-south interconnector powe-line from Tyrone to Cavan and a 58km power line from Woodland, Co Meath to Kingscourt, Co Cavan. Both projects have met with hostile opposition from newly formed lobby groups in the five counties amid concerns over the erection of pylons and overhead powerlines. The SUNDAY TRIBUNE has learned that one group, based along the Armagh-Monaghan border, is planning to take its concerns to Europe. The group travelled to Stormont [seat of N. Ireland assembly] last week to lobby the North's environment minister Arlene Foster and is looking towards bringing a legal challenge in the European courts. Engineer Jim Lennon, from Derrynoose, Co Armagh, who lives just yards from one of the planned routes, explained, "As Eirgrid have not made a formal planning application yet, we cannot act but we will be looking for a public inquiry into this and we are intending to push it to the European Court of Human Rights." Anne Murray, who heads up the lobby group in Monaghan said, "We are extremely concerned about the health implications, the unacceptable threat to our property value and the fact that they will also look unsightly and spoil the landscape." Murray has criticised Eirgrid's "lack of adequate public consultation" and its "failure to investigate modern advance techniques for underground cables." Cavan-Monaghan Fianna Fail TD Margaret Conlon said, "The Eirgrid proposal is a cross-border and all-Ireland project and it represents progress but there are huge fears surrounding the pylons. While there have been many different reports into the effects of these pylons, it is up to Eirgrid to prove that they are of no risk to people's health." Eirgrid argues that no line of this type and length has ever been placed underground. The overhead lines are "the best way to ensure supplies of safe, reliable, secure and economic power for many years ahead in the northeast", a spokesman said. Eirgrid's public consultation process is due to come to a close and a decision on the preferred route is due early next year. The company is also due to lodge a planning application for the project in the spring.



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Dezember 2007

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