It’s time for EirGrid to ‘end the spin’ when it comes to the undergrounding of power cables: that was the view expressed by Senator David Cullinane following a meeting with EirGrid executives on Wednesday last.
“In recent media interviews, EirGrid executives communicated that they were not opposed to undergrounding as a principle,” said the Waterford-based Sinn Féin representative. “This seemed to signal that there was room for alternatives to be discussed.
“However, at last Wednesday’s meeting, they were categorical that undergrounding is not an option for the GridLink project. EirGrid said that undergrounding would only be made feasible through use of new technology which they claim would be extremely expensive.”
The Senator added: “They also conceded that undergrounding would only be considered on extremely short stretches. This would mean a maximum of ten to fifteen kilometres across the entire state, if used at all.
“EirGrid needs to end the spin in relation to their position on undergrounding. They need to be clear and honest with people. That required clarity has been evidently lacking in recent media interviews.
“The EirGrid representatives also acknowledged that the current consultation process is only dealing with the issue of routes and corridors and not about the potential methodologies such as undergrounding.”
Senator Cullinane concluded: “This acknowledgment is indicative of the flawed nature of the planning and consultation process surrounding this entire project.”
Meanwhile, Tipperary South TD Mattie McGrath described EirGrid’s decision to extend the public consultation period as a “brilliant victory for people power”.
But he added: “We should be under no illusions however that this signals anything but a begrudging acknowledgment by EirGrid that the pressure that the ordinary people brought to bear on them was finally enough to make them see sense”.