Independent TD Mattie McGrath has said that Eirgrid’s analysis of an underground route for the Grid West project amounts to an absolute indictment of the “spin and half-truths it has persisted in over the course of the last year”.
Deputy McGrath was speaking after Eirgrid released details of changes involving the undergrounding of over 7km of an existing 220kV line which is part of the Grid West project: “Eirgrid has repeatedly stated that the underground option could be not go ahead due to the fact it was technically impossible. Now unless they want us to believe that that in the intervening few months there has been seismic changes in the technological capacity to carry out such works, then we are left with no other sensible conclusion but that such excuses were motivated by sheer contempt for the will of the people. We here in the South Tipperary now have it from Eirgrid’s own mouth that what they have said is impossible is actually not the case at all. This means that all their previous assertions of the difficulties involved have turned to dust including the perception that the ordinary person just did not understand the process.
Eirgrid despite their claims do not have a monopoly on the knowledge required to analyse such projects. I think we are at the stage where the remaining shred of credibility that Eirgrid had in terms of honest engagement with the public is now gone.They will no doubt attempt to spin this move, welcome as it is, as a sign of their openness to the public consultation process. Nothing could be further from the truth, because this fact remains glaringly obvious; that if the people had not marshalled together in the way they did then Eirgrid would have been all too happy to tear the landscape apart and import known health hazards into communities across the West. So this is not some noble gesture to the public but a breaking of Eirgrid’s corporate will by the sovereignty of the people. The people deserve the applause today and not Eirgrid’s PR team,” concluded McGrath.