We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Government says overground option for North-South interconnector will go ahead as planned

The Minister for Communications confirmed that the interconnector would be constructed even in the event of a hard Brexit.

THE GOVERNMENT HAS said that proposals by EirGrid to use overhead power lines to build the North-South Interconnector will go ahead.

Earlier this week, the Government considered two reports into the interconnector commissioned by Minister for Communications Denis Naughten.

One of the reports, which looked at the cost and technical feasibility of building the interconnector underground, found that using electricity pylons was the preferable option by a ratio of 3:1.

The plans envisage a 400kV overhead electric power-line linking an existing substation in Woodland, Co Meath, with a planned substation in Turleenan, Co Tyrone.

299 pylons are expected to be built across Cavan, Meath and Monaghan as part of the project, which An Bord Pleanála approved in 2016.

The proposals have angered locals in the three counties, who have voiced concerns about potential impacts on the environment, their health and property prices.

Speaking on Morning Ireland on RTÉ Radio 1 today, Naughten pointed to the potential offered by the overground option.

“The benefit of an overhead line is that you have the opportunity for investment along the route of that line,” he said.

“Particularly in Co Monaghan, where there has been pinch points in the past in relation to electricity supply, there’s an opportunity to bring new investment there as well as supply.”

National Broadband Plan

The Minster said that the interconnector would bring about a more balanced electricity supply across Ireland, and that it would go ahead even in the event of a hard Brexit.

“This is one issue that I’ve specifically looked at with my officials,” Naughten said, adding that there were commitments from both the British and Irish governments to ensure that the plans proceed.

“We’re determined to make sure that that happens, and the connector is a key part of [electricity] infrastructure.”

In the same interview, Naughten also confirmed a report that he attended a dinner in New York with David McCourt, the head of the Granahan McCourt, the remaining bidder for the National Broadband Plan.

However, he insisted that he regularly met with investors as part of his ministerial duties and suggested that the National Broadband Plan was only discussed briefly.

“I made it clear to him that the requests for documentation and information from my Department were responded to in a timely manner,” Naughten said.

“David McCourt did give an indication that there may an application to the Department for an alteration of the consortium, but that was the sum total of the discussion in relation to that.”

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel