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Public inquiry into cross-border interconnector due to be reconvened

Pylons

A public inquiry into the controversial cross-border interconnector is due to be reconvened.

Newry and Armagh MLA Cathal Boylan said he has received correspondence from the Environment Minister Mark H Durkan confirming the development.

And, on the back of the revelation, the Sinn Fein Assemblyman said now is the time for the Minister to “take on board opposition to overhead power cables along the route of the proposed north south interconnector”.

“This is a major issue on both sides of the border and has generated significant opposition from local communities who object to pylons and overhead power cables,” said Mr Boylan.

“Communities on both sides of the border have outlined their strong feeling about this proposal. I and other Sinn Féin representatives have backed them.

“A public inquiry was first convened in 2012 and I have received correspondence from the environment minister that this inquiry is to be reconvened.

“This is an important step towards finding a resolution to this contentious issue.

“It will then fall to the Environment Minister to make sure the planning process takes the deeply felt concerns of local communities into account.”

The 400kv North South Electricity Interconnector will form part of an all-island electricity network, but the argument is against cables being placed overground, the network stretching from Tyrone, through Armagh, Monaghan, Cavan and Meath.

Action groups SEAT and NEPP have campaigned relentlessly.

The proposal to erect a 400kv overhead power line consisting of 102 pylons, and stretching some 33.9 kilomeres across the drumlins of Tyrone and Armagh with further connections through Counties Monaghan, Cavan and Meath.

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