20 January 2012 No Comments by The Northern Standard

THE protracted and controversial campaign over the past two years by rural communities, supported by local authorities and elected representatives, in counties Monaghan, Cavan and Meath, for the proposed EirGrid North-South electricity interconnector to be proceeded with the use of underground cabling, rather than unsightly overhead pylons and power-lines, appears to get very little support in the findings of the Special Commission set up by the Government to explore the issue.
The eagerly awaited report was released on Tuesday and was being studied closely yesterday (Wednesday) by all the Oireachtas members in the Border region.
Local Fine Gael deputy Sean Conlan said that, irrespective of the Commission findings, he had consistently pressed the Minister to ensure the report was released as soon as it was available for consideration by all the concerned communities involved in this major issue.
It emerged yesterday the review by the international expert commission was carried out between August and November—within the six months’ time framework promised by the Energy Minister Mr. Pat Rabitte T.D.
According to the Commission, the Minister announced on July 5th that the Cabinet had agreed on his proposal to establish the body of experts “to review and report within six months on a case for, and cost of, undergrounding all, or part, of the 4000kV power-link from Tyrone Border, through Co. Monaghan to Co. Meath.
The report says the Commission spent considerable effort in collecting data from five reference projects, all relevant for the project.
The Commission has suggested in the course of its report that an overhead line still offers “significantly lower investment costs than any underground alternative and could also be made more attractive by investing slightly more in tower designs than the classical steel lattice towers already proposed——an assertion that certainly won’t generate any relief for Co. Monaghan anti-pylon campaigners.
The Commission claims that overhead lines …

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