Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith has raised questions over the Minister for Communications’ refusal to publish two independent reports relating to the North-South Interconnector.
Minister Naughten has admitted that both studies are completed and have been submitted to him but has failed to give any reason for the delay in publishing the reviews.
Deputy Brendan Smith explained, “These reports examined the cost of undergrounding the North-South interconnector, as well as considering the levels of compensation which should be provided to land and property owners, and were commissioned following two Fianna Fáil motions in the Dáil and the Seanad.
“It is clear that this Government is not willing to listen to the concerns of local communities in Cavan, Monaghan and Meath. Fianna Fáil fully supports the undergrounding of the interconnector – it is the only safe and secure option. Costs have fallen significantly over the past decade and there is no valid reason why Fine Gael is continuing to press forward with the pylon option.
“The fact the Minister Naughten has still not published either of these reports, despite them sitting on his desk, raises serious questions. Is he concerned that the undergrounding option is now feasible? All indicators would suggest that undergrounding is a real alternative.
“I am calling on the Minister to publish these reports immediately so that all stakeholders are aware of the options open to them with regard to this project.”
For Written Answer on : 07/09/2018
Question Number(s): 1057 Question Reference(s): 36757/18
Department: Communications, Climate Action and Environment
Asked by: Brendan Smith T.D.
[Ref No.: 36757/18]
* To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment when his Department received the two independent reports in relation to the proposed North-South Interconnector; when it is planned to publish these reports; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Brendan Smith.
* For WRITTEN answer on Friday, 7th September, 2018.
(1817 Received on 31st August, 2018.)
In 2017 I commissioned two studies designed to address the main points of the motions passed in Dáil and Seanad Éireann as well as key concerns expressed by the parties opposed to the development of the North South Interconnector as an overhead line. The first is an independent study to examine the technical feasibility and cost of undergrounding the interconnector. The second study is focused on the levels of compensation provided to land and property owners in proximity to high-voltage transmission lines in a European context.
Both studies are now completed and have been submitted to me. I expect to bring both reports to Government in the coming weeks and will publish them as soon as possible thereafter.