28 October 2016 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Michael Fisher

EirGrid has said the timing of a survey on awareness of payments in connection with the proposed North/South electricity interconnector was inappropriate while its application moved through the planning process. Last week the Northern Standard revealed the investigation was being sponsored by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland and was being led by a Galway-based academic. Dr Ann Torres is Vice Dean of Internationalisation in the College of Business, Public Policy & Law at the National University of Ireland, Galway.

Dr Torres said EirGrid was not in any way connected to the survey or research programme, either directly or indirectly. She explained that she had responded to a call by the SEAI for research earlier this year. The purpose of the research, she said, was to establish a framework, which could be used in future for better communication with communities close to infrastructure projects. 160 homes were visited across Meath, Cavan and Monaghan with the assistance of a professional research company. Respondents were asked to fill in a 23-page form and were paid €20 for participating.

In a statement EirGrid confirmed it had neither knowledge of, nor involvement in, the survey being carried out in the project area. A spokesman said that in early 2016, the semi-state company was contacted by NUI Galway and UCD and advised that both universities intended to conduct research, at a national level, on public …

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