Seanad debates

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

2:30 pm

Photo of John WhelanJohn Whelan (Labour) | Oireachtas source

I concur with Senator O'Neill, Senator Cullinane and my colleague from Roscommon, Senator Kelly, who has been raising this issue until he is blue in the face. A grand deception has been visited on the people and EirGrid has sucked Government policy with it on the basis of its assertion that we need to double the capacity of the grid. It wants to erect a further 800 km of high voltage power cables throughout the country. I have just come from a hearing by An Bord Pleanála in County Laois, where the company is trying to erect 17 new lines in the scenic area of Ratheniska, with which people will be familiar from the ploughing championships. It says the lines are intended to support energy supplies to Kilkenny and Carlow, despite the fact that another 400 kV line is being laid from Cork to Kilkenny. The purpose of the lines and the substation is to facilitate wind farm developers. We need an urgent debate on and review of the policy because the emperor has no clothes. EirGrid is the emperor and it has gone rogue. It must be brought to heel and held to account.


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