STRONG CRITICISM OF FINE GAEL OVER EIRGRID PLANS

29 October 2015 No Comments by The Northern Standard

By Michel Fisher

There’s speculation about the political future of Fine Gael Councillor Hugh McElvaney following his comments at a public meeting in Aughnamullen last week organised by the County Monaghan Anti Pylon Committee. He told the crowd it was an issue on which he was prepared to “stand up and be counted” and he did not want to be seen as a “hypocrite”. This follows the lack of response from senior government figures to arrange a meeting with the Taoiseach over this controversial issue and the decision by EirGrid to pursue its plans submitted in June for an overhead high voltage line. It would affect forty-two townlands in County Monaghan and the planning application is awaiting a decision by An Bord Pleanála.

Criticism was made at the start of the meeting about the absence of the five Dáil deputies. One of them, Fine Gael deputy Sean Conlan, turned up half way through the meeting and expressed his strong support for the campaigners. It emerged this week that Deputy Conlan was late in submitting his response to the Planning Board, and that his brief submission was not accepted, but was returned to him earlier this month along with his payment of €50. (see p.28)

In his letter to the planning authority the Deputy said he objected “in the strongest possible terms” to the proposed interconnector. He claimed that EirGrid had learned nothing since their failed planning application and oral hearing in 2010. He said the decision by EirGrid not to provide an underground …

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