Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Power line plans should be about people, not profit

In SPITE of opposition to the outdated overhead technology which NIE are proposing for their north/south interconnector, the company has refused to use environmentally friendly underground cables.

Instead, they have recently applied to the Planning Service for permission to erect huge pylons through the Armagh and Tyrone countryside, but the ruling from the French civil court in Tulle in October 2008, ordering RTE to pay €390,648 compensatory damages to a farmer for health problems suffered by his animals living near a 400 kilovolt overhead power line, has sent shockwaves through the industry.

NIE claim cost is the main reason they cannot use the underground option for this high-voltage power line. In this regard, the annual accounts published in March 2008 for The Viridian Group showed a profit of an unbelievable £493m.

It would be peanuts for them to fork out the extra few bob to put this line underground. In so doing, they would prevent the blight of ugly pylons dominating this most picturesque of landscapes. They would also demonstrate they are a company with ethical concerns.

PATRICK McGINNITY

Keady, Co Armagh

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