Action on John Ryan case would benefit Vodafone

How uplifting to turn to Irish Senator Martin Mansergh's Saturday column in today's THE IRISH TIMES and find him making this statement "The problem [with masts] arises when, for reasons not clearly understood, whether peculiarities of location and/or the particular susceptibility of individuals, a persistent allergic reaction sets in or is exacerbated, which can be attributed to radiation from a mast and its electromagnetic field." He concludes this article by writing in support of John Ryan's right to have the health-wrecking mast removed from his farm and suggests in his last sentence that "Given the State's unwillingness to intervene, farm organisations should exercise their influence on his behalf."

I will transcribe the entire article below. While the predominant tone of his article is strongly supportive of the socio-economic gains arising from the cellphone industry he does admit to that vital point that a small percentage of people are allergic to/susceptible to EMR. For information on Senator Martin Mansergh's political and intellectual standing in Ireland just enter his name in google search engine:

Best, Imelda, Cork.

THE IRISH TIMES, Saturday, March 5, 2005, page 14
(Opinion and Analysis)

"Action on Ryan case would benefit Vodafone

[by] Martin Mansergh

The film Erin Brockovich of a few years ago, starring Julia Roberts and Albert Finney, was a true-life portrayal of an extreme and, one would hope, untypical example of ruthless and unscrupulous corporate behaviour.

Toxic raw materials and reckless waste-management policy under a supine state regulatory system resulted in wholesale abnormalities, cancers and other damage to human and animal health in a settlement neighbouring an industrial plant.

Misinformation and denial of any causal link between widespread health problems and industrial practices crumbled only in the face of determined courage by a woman that pitted a small law-firm against massive corporate resources.

Experience in Ireland shows that even wholly ethical and responsible corporations have difficulty in handling isolted cases, where unusual and abnormal individual health symptoms, for which there is no adequate explanation, occur in the vicinity of their installations. Unproven causal links are on principle denied.

Omega: There are more than unproven causal links for hurtful influence of pulsed microwave radiation and this is long known also from so-called "wholly ethical and responsible corporations". See e.g. under:
http://www.buergerwelle.de/body_science.html and
"How Industry Manipulates Science" under:

What inhibits remedial action, even on an agreed 'without prejudice' basis, is fear of setting precedents, and encouraging the proliferation of 'professional' or crank protesters. Until recently, regulatory authorities were slow to discommode valuable scarce industry providing badly needed employment, and were rather too ready simply to underwrite with minimal variation the corporate PR line of defence.

Mobile phones are a technology which has made private life and work more flexible and efficient. Contact is easy, though it can sometimes contribute to the sense of hassle. Mobile phones are invaluable for old people, when the car breaks down, for giving notice of delays, keeping track of offspring, avoiding steep hotel charges, and for finding people urgently.

They have eased the problem of teenagers hogging the telpehone at home. The fixed line, like the cruise vis-a-vis the fast ferry, remains the older and more reliable technology, for radio interviews by telephone, for instance.

Mobile phone companies make good profits in a country where people like to talk. The auction of a second mobile phone licence in 1995 for a song made rapid fortunes for a number of players.

The astonishing aspect of it was, not so much the existence, real or alleged, of an inside track in contract-awarding still being investigated by the Moriarty tribunal, but that a State asset for sale could be so grossly undervalued, to the tune of 2,000 per cent or more.

The chief beneficiary, whose company was, by his own assessment, previously living on the edge, went into tax exile.

Like other spectacular commercial successes and failures, it shows that the State needs to professionalise how it does business, preferably by hiring appropriately salaried in-house specialist expertise, rather than overuse of expensive per diem consultancy contracts.

Vodafone, which supplies this columnist's modest needs, recently announced profits of [euros] 341 million. There are continuing arguments about prices, profits and monopolistic competition, on which ComReg's criticisms were given support this week by the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Communications chaired by Noel O'Flynn TD.

Most people's attitude to the mobile phone is positive, towards what has become an indispensable aid to modern living.

The problems of coverage, while not entirely gone away, have been much reduced. There are some objections to mobile phone masts on aethetic grounds, though they are much less obtrusive than electricity pylons or wind turbines.

There has been an inconclusive debate about hazards from mobiles from overuse or to young people.

There is a strong preference for not erecting masts on schools or in residential areas, as much from a precautionary principle as anything else. There is little undisputed evidence of general hazards or serious health and safety warnings applicable to the whole population.

Omega there is much evidence of general hazards and serious health safety warnings see "Mobile Phone and Human Health" under: http://omega.twoday.net/stories/554581/

Masts are placed on Garda [Irish Police] stations that already have communications equipment, even on church towers, and out in the countryside, mostly with few objections.

The problem arises when, for reasons not clearly understood, whether peculiarities of location and/or the particular susceptibility of individuals, a persistent allergic reaction sets in or is exacerbated, which can be attributed to radiation from a mast and its electomagnetic field.

Such is the well-publicised case of John Ryan, a dairy farmer near Golden, Co. Tipperary, who accepted erection of a mobile phone mast on a hill above his house. It was a remunerative but lopsided contract worth [euros] 10,000 a year, to which he is bound until August 2007, with Vodafone as the lessee able to get out in the first year. According to a medical report, John Ryan developed burning sensations on his skin, and is often unable to sleep at home or stay near the farm.

There is some evidence of a previous history of less severe symptoms, connected by Mr Ryan to the use of a mobile phone. There is no obvious gain, indeed an earnings loss, if the installation were removed early.

It would seem sensible that in instances where an individual is unhappy with the installation from which he and his family profit, on prima facie defensible grounds, the installation should be removed without having to wait for proof.

Mobile phone companies are sufficiently profitable to be able to insure themselves against such rare occurrences. It is an issue of how large corporations treat vulnerable individuals and their families. They should not ride roughshod over them, or require them to seek forms of recourse that are beyond the capacity of most individuals without wealth.

The IRISH TIMES editorial (July 9th, 2004) concluded that 'in certain public controversies, the best solution is to walk away', and that 'operators must display greater flexibility and sensitivity to indiviudal needs'. We have more than enough environmental standoffs.

Belated action on this case would be a credit to the company, and would not detract from the benefits that mobile phone infrastructure can bring to the entire community, including farmers, few of whom could be as unlucky as John Ryan. Given the State's unwillingness to intervene, farm organisations should exercise their influence on his behalf."

Dr Martin Mansergh
Senator for Seanad Éireann
Friarsfield House, Tipperary Town, Co Tipperary
Tel: 062-51226 or 01-618 3156
Fax: 062-31028 or 01-618 4793
Email: click here:

And below is news of yet another mast protest in Dublin, based on health fears to school students.


"Fears over phone mast being built near schools
[by] Ed Carty

Government plans to erect a mobile phone mast near two schools could harm children's health, it was claimed yesterday.

Campaigners fear radiation from the base station on a public bulding in Rathmines, Dublin, will pose unknown risks to pupils of St. Louis High School and St. Mary's College.

John Gormley, Green Party chairman, said he was totally opposed to the mast and called on Junior Minister Tom Parlon, at the Office of Public Works, to step in and block any building. . . . "

Irish mast cum cellphone health issue hots up further



Simmering masts row

John Ryan: Phone mast wrecks my life


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