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John Powers, Director of Engineers Ireland James Horan/Photocall Ireland

Engineers say EirGrid project will be 'key to economic prosperity'

EirGrid know what they’re doing and have ‘some of the best engineers in the world’ working with them, Engineers Ireland has said.

A SUB-STANDARD ELECTRICITY infrastructure could hamper Ireland’s economic recovery, director of Engineers Ireland John Power has warned.

Speaking to RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Power said that companies looking to invest in Ireland could be discouraged if the electricity grid was not able to handle future demand.

He also urged people not to doubt EirGrid’s controversial Gridlink project, noting that ‘some of the best engineers in the world’ work with the company.

“We second-guess these experts at our peril”, he said.

“Maybe we should ask ourselves why would any company want to put themselves through such negative publication and grief.”

“Put simply, a strong infrastructure is the foundation for economic prosperity.”

Companies are less likely to plan future investment in Ireland if the country lacks essential infrastructure, Power warned, potentially leading to a lack of job creation and continued high levels of unemployment.

Addressing suggestions raised by groups opposed to Gridlink that miles of pylons could be avoided by placing the cables underground, he said that in most other European countries less than a mile and a half of every 100 miles of cables are placed underground, and that it is the norm to place them above ground.

Health concerns regarding the use of these high-powered cables are without merit, he said, stating that evidence from around the world suggest that “it isn’t actually happening”.

Poll: Are you concerned about plans to build more electricity pylons? >

Read: Pylon health considerations ‘do not warrant involvement of Health Minister’ >

More: Tourism factors were not considered in grid route selection say Fáilte Ireland >

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