Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Submission to Eirgrid to stop the pylons, please share and copy and paste a bit you like to them as well by 26th November!

Dear Eirgrid, (gridlink@eirgrid.com)
Pat Rabbitte (pat.rabbitte@oireachtas.ie),
Phil Hogan (philip.hogan@oir.ie
Philip Lowe, European Director General for Energy philip.lowe@ec.europa.eu

Rejection of Ireland’s Eirgrid’s proposed new overhead, 43 metre high pylon route from north to south and rejection of Ireland’s agreement to sell all its excess windpower to England exclusively, rather than let the resource make Ireland prosperous eventually, in a competitive market.

Dear Eirgrid,
We request that your full 3.2 billion euro budget be spent exclusively on undergrounding cable, both the 400kV cable and domestic cable upgrades too and even the power substations be built underground. Also that all pylons be dismantled, that were erected before the public had a chance to stand together to refuse them.

Request that a 5 year emission test takes place to record loss of power and deterioration of peoples’ health around existing pylons.

Make no mistake, 100% of the Irish public, 100% of councilors and everyone who loves to visit Ireland for work and as a tourist, all reject your plans to erect pylons from north to south; all of it, all the four proposed routes through Carlow and all the stretches further north and further south. You will have no agreement from us and we will ‘lock down the land’ and officially and physically support any farmer who is locking down his land, in any part of the country.

These are our grounds of rejection:

1. There has been no fair process, (the public have only just found out and some still do not even know of your plans. I, personally, live on proposed route D16. I only found out yesterday.) There has been no information shared or consideration of concerns raised. Eirgrid, Pat Rabitte and Minister for the Environment, Phil Hogan all continue not to answer any of the difficult questions. That is because there is an unjustifiable threat to public health, water, the landscape and it will leave a shoddy legacy for our children rather than future proofing the infrastructure by laying cable underground. Undergrounding the cable would answer many of the difficult questions for you. (Except why the hell did you not lay them along the motorway last year when you were building that? Where it would not bother anyone?)Pylons are widely considered out dated technology as exposed lines lose so much power. This letter is to confirm that pylons are unanimously considered not an option for your current project.

2. Massive Health Concerns about increased magnetic fields causing childhood leukaemia, infertility, melatonin hormone reduction, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, motor neuron disease and alzheimers to name but a few.

3. The obvious safer choice is to lay cable underground.

4. The immediate and lasting depreciation of property.

5. The noise, known as the Corona Effect – which is well documented and can be heard on You Tube.
Although I am sure you know it well enough yourselves and will be sure not to have one in earshot of your own homes…or are you, Phil Hogan, going to Europe next year to get well out of harm’s way?

6.  24 hours a day exposure to electro magnetic full power charge – the figures on how unsafe that actually is, you may or may not have. But you have been asked for the figures and they have not been released. This is because you know that we will be blown off the richter scale. We know that it will be full power all year around and not just when its cold here because you intend to sell electricity on.

7. The implicit agreement that you can sell out lives (eg.cancer) and livelihoods (eg. Tourism and animal farming) of people in Ireland to facilitate the sale of power generated here, to England. Making Ireland a power station for Britain.

8. Eirgrid’s continued mis- information. Significantly, you have said that homes need be only 50 metres from a pylon, when in other countries, 200 metres is the very minimum considered safe. Eirgrid has given false information – for example saying that laying the cable underground would be 25 times more expensive, then only 12, then 7, then 3. At the meeting in Carlow yesterday, Eirgrid said that the problem was not one of cost at all, it was technical and we ‘wouldn’t understand’. I request that that exact question be answered. ‘What is your problem with undergrounding the cable?’ We are all educated and have teams of people in each community who can shed light on any technical problem. The public know that you are well able to lay cable underground as that is how you laid the west to east cable and under the sea. Has laying the cable around the coast as a marine route been considered? If not, why not?

9. Magnetic fields change the composition of milk and negatively affect sheep, cows and horses, let alone wild life.

10. The scale of the pylons. Average ESB pole is around 7 metres, these pylons are on average 43metres.

11. The line is completely unnecessary. There is already electricity to all of Ireland, on even the coldest days.

12. This line is only the beginning.
You intend upgrades to cable on existing pylons and poles and new substations too. Well, we the public, intend that every single strand that you lay from now on should be underground. Even the substations should be underground. This is because anything more than the current current (!) of 110 is dangerous to the human body, especially to the development of brain cells in children. The cable for the pylons is 400 and the more domestic lines might go up to 200 +. Pat Rabitte, I gather you have refused to organize emissions testing. This is a reasonable request, by the public, that you register for 5 years at least what discharge there is from existing pylons and more importantly what increase in chronic health issues around them.

13. You irresponsible, greedy, hard faced company Eirgrid and 2 politicians, Mr Rabitte and Hogan, have 3.2 billion to play with. You are obviously the wrong people to handle such a project as you will not even include what you yourselves know from the May 2008 Ecofy’s report on renewable energy. Namely that undergrounding would minimize the magnetic field damage to health and livestock. That undergrounding would keep Ireland a tourist attraction rather than forcing a toxic hell on us, where no one will want to visit and we will not be able to sell up and leave. So far, Ireland is described by visitors to every area as ‘unspoilt’.

The Ecofy’s report also shows stark statistics on how devalued property will instantly be as a result. In fact, no one will buy your house in the vicinity of a pylon at all, for any nominal sum.

14. Your methods.
It has been a hugely unfair procurement process. I am forwarding this letter to Philip Lowe, Director General of Energy in Europe too to help us – the Irish people, make sure you undertake due process. Phil Hogan, your comment on KCLR radio, that the pylons are going ahead was completely inappropriate as it calls into question the role of An Bord Pleanala, the planning department, who are supposed to be considering this and our objections and making the decision. The date for objections to this part of the planning application is 26th November. No household, on any of the Eirgrid proposed ‘corridors’ of pylons, received even a flier, let alone a booklet notifying them of your proposal. It is only in the last 2 months, it has come to light and many people still don’t know.  We are also in communication with Europe about this embarrassing disregard and inappropriate manner by which you are proceeding with this dangerous project, in the face of full, 100% public rejection. The only people who are not totally against it are the ones that do not know yet.

We do not fall for your idea of offering 4 routes through County Carlow and letting one area’s public argument appear weaker than another and making that route the sacrificial lamb. Kilkenny and Carlow and Waterford and Wexford and people from further north as well are all showing up to help us, having battled with you before. This is a unified rejection by all the people of Ireland. There will be no pylons. Furthermore, you must take down the ones you have so far forced on people and see if they can recover their health at all. Some serious compensation is due.

Eirgrid have have not demonstrated any interest in precautionary or safety awareness or measures. I draw your attention to Eirgrid’s own mission statement that says Eirgrid intends and must build a reputation of trust, integrity and honesty with stakeholders. I confirm that what you have achieved is anger, frustration and disbelief.

Cable should obviously have been laid when the motorway was built along the same route. That can still be done. The only reason it wasn’t was that one state run organization didn’t talk to another to combine projects and costs.

So we furthermore reject your pylons proposal due to the underhand and dismissive way the actual information has been treated. Pat Rabbit and Phil Hogan and yourselves all have seen the independent report from May 2008 that states in some detail how the undergrounding can be done and that it can hold a better cable and that the overhead cable loses between 10 and 20% of electricity as it travels

If you were in charge of any other project, you would have been sacked long ago. You have failed to come back with any answers to serious and important questions and you do not have any agreement to move forward with this.

Regards, Frances Micklem


  1. Franc this is amazing..... it needs to be seen by a lot more people... will you please send it to the Irish Times... it is a very valuable piece of work.. I read it to our local anti pylon group tonight. We would also like to use parts in our submission... with your approval of course.

    1. Thanks a million for your positive feedback!I would be very glad for you to use it for your submissions and I will try and send it to the Irish Times…I'm sure there must be an email for them on Google. I will have a look!

    2. Excellent Franc thank you.
      Email: lettersed@irishtimes.com
      Fax: +353 1 675 8035

      Good luck.... write some more please go on radio make your voice heard. We get some people on the radio who can't put one word in front of the other and do the campaign a disservice.

    3. What I learnt at the protest today:
      We must refuse the cable altogether-it is not necessary 'infrastructure' it is purely to 'facilitate export'.

      Just like Eirgrid offering four pylon routes - to divide and over ride local objections, however unanimous - the same can be said for under grounding the cable. It is the better of two unnecessary options but we do not have to have either pylons or underground cable. 200kV currently, some 400kV starting. What is there to stop them saying we need more again? There is no need for this project at all. It is just big business, purely operating against Ireland's good. Furthermore, we have no idea what their ideas are for the rest of the 3.2billion euro. Such corruption. One couple had only found out yesterday that they are directly on a route. Eirgrid told no one. Back to the 3.2 billion…as money talks and health is too vague for some to contemplate! Don't borrow the money at all. Give it back if its not ours or spend it on a pro-ireland vision, if it is.

      I also learnt that if they use under ground cable, a substation will be needed every 10-12km. (To do with alternating current above ground and only direct current underground!) They're probably keeping that up their sleeve to make sure the project goes ahead one way or another. Imagine we get the underground cable, we're delighted, and then suddenly the previously unmentioned substations start to spring up, no planning permission necessary because they're needed to transport that particular form of current. We will be completely unable to stop them. Lets campaign against the entire project. As a comedian said of the motorway at last year's cat laughs festival 'well done, Ireland, on your new motorway, now no one need be late to sign on! Lets not be set up. Lets say yes to bringing down our debt not adding to it….

      Oh yes and i learnt that the wind turbines we've bought are ten years out of date - there are perfectly flat dish shaped ones that lie flat, work with a breath of wind and bother no one. Lets get the corrupt people out of power by naming and stating the obvious and then get a vision in place. Its totally possible! Fx

    4. This is the letter I just received from An Bord Pleanala today! Let it be a warning that the 26th is Eirgrid's own deadline and NOT An Bord Pleaanla's! It is designed to collect all our objections, without their obligation to share them with the board (even the disclosure of the number they've received) or address them in ANY way! This is the letter and note that, if a planning application even goes in for a route via under ground (including the extra substations) OR via pylons, the individuals on that route will have to pay 50 euro for EACH objection. The POLITICAL OUTRAGE is the strongest point of objection. The stripping of power and position of the key corrupt players in this project (Pat rabbit and Phil Hogan) is the action we need to take. THIS is where our focus needs to be in order for us to win. 'I have received your e-mail of 20th November 2013.
      If your comments are with regard to the Grid 25 Project, please note that An Bord Pleanála has not yet received an application for approval of the proposed development and is not currently involved in assessing whether it should or should not be granted approval. Therefore, the Board is not considering any submissions from the public at this time.
      In the event that an application is lodged with the Board sometime in the future, then submissions or observations may be made to the Board in respect of the application within a specified time limit, which will be stated in the statutory public notices, and subject to the payment of the necessary fee of €50. I hope this is of assistance'
      This cable is not infrastructure it is purely for export so our campaign should be a categoric No, to the north to south cable. Think about it, God knows what Eirgrid's plan might be for the rest of their ''budget'' - it will not be anything positive for Ireland's present or future! We know that much from their conduct so far.