SEANAD DEFEAT FOR GOVERNMENT OVER INTERCONNECTOR –– NI PLANNING INQUIRY ENDS IN ARMAGH

3 March 2017 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Michael Fisher

The government has again failed to water down a Fianna Fáil motion on the need to review and cost the underground option for the North South electricity interconnector. Following a defeat in the Dáil a fortnight ago, this time it was the Seanad that rejected a proposal from the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten TD.

  Monaghan Fianna Fáil Senator Robbie Gallagher yesterday evening brought forward a motion on behalf of the party that had the backing of Sinn Féin and some independent Senators. The wording was the same as had been passed by the Dáil.

  It called on the government to commission immediately an independent report incorporating international expertise to examine the technical feasibility and cost of putting the power lines underground, taking into account the most recent developments in technology and experience gained from existing projects abroad. It requested an evaluation of the potential impacts of both undergrounding and overgrounding the North-South interconnector on surrounding areas, considering such aspects as the impact on local tourism, health, the landscape, agriculture, and heritage. It also called for an analysis of the real costs to date, and estimated future costs, of the current proposed overhead pylon project.

  Minister Naughten said he was well aware of the concerns that had been raised by communities across Monaghan….
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