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offsite link Alternative Copy of site is available Thu May 25, 2023 14:38 | Ice-Saker-V6bKu3nz
Alternative site: Site was created using the downloads provided Regards Herb

offsite link The Saker blog is now frozen Tue Feb 28, 2023 23:55 | The Saker
Dear friends As I have previously announced, we are now “freezing” the blog.  We are also making archives of the blog available for free download in various formats (see below). 

offsite link What do you make of the Russia and China Partnership? Tue Feb 28, 2023 16:26 | The Saker
by Mr. Allen for the Saker blog Over the last few years, we hear leaders from both Russia and China pronouncing that they have formed a relationship where there are

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2023/02/27 19:00:02Welcome to the ‘Moveable Feast Cafe’. The ‘Moveable Feast’ is an open thread where readers can post wide ranging observations, articles, rants, off topic and have animate discussions of

offsite link The stage is set for Hybrid World War III Mon Feb 27, 2023 15:50 | The Saker
Pepe Escobar for the Saker blog A powerful feeling rhythms your skin and drums up your soul as you?re immersed in a long walk under persistent snow flurries, pinpointed by

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Public Inquiry
Interested in maladministration. Estd. 2005

offsite link RTEs Sarah McInerney ? Fianna Fail supporter? Anthony

offsite link Joe Duffy is dishonest and untrustworthy Anthony

offsite link Robert Watt complaint: Time for decision by SIPO Anthony

offsite link RTE in breach of its own editorial principles Anthony

offsite link Waiting for SIPO Anthony

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Human Rights in Ireland
A Blog About Human Rights

offsite link UN human rights chief calls for priority action ahead of climate summit Sat Oct 30, 2021 17:18 | Human Rights

offsite link 5 Year Anniversary Of Kem Ley?s Death Sun Jul 11, 2021 12:34 | Human Rights

offsite link Poor Living Conditions for Migrants in Southern Italy Mon Jan 18, 2021 10:14 | Human Rights

offsite link Right to Water Mon Aug 03, 2020 19:13 | Human Rights

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Lockdown Skeptics

The Daily Sceptic

offsite link Whistleblower Quits NSPCC Over Trans ?Grooming? Saying Charity has Been ?Completely Captured? by Sto... Mon Apr 22, 2024 20:00 | Will Jones
A senior volunteer at the NSPCC has revealed she quit the charity over concerns about trans "grooming", saying the charity has been "completely captured" by Stonewall and asks primary school pupils their pronouns.
The post Whistleblower Quits NSPCC Over Trans “Grooming” Saying Charity has Been “Completely Captured” by Stonewall and is Asking Primary School Pupils Their Pronouns appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link WHO Official Admits the Truth About Vaccine Passports Mon Apr 22, 2024 18:31 | Paul D. Thacker
The WHO's Dr. Hanna Nohynek testified in court that she advised her Government that vaccine passports were not needed but was ignored, despite explaining that the Covid vaccines did not stop virus transmission.
The post WHO Official Admits the Truth About Vaccine Passports appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link The Rise of Corporate Totalitarianism Mon Apr 22, 2024 16:33 | Dr Rowena Slope
Corporate totalitarianism represents a new ideological development in the history of humanity, says Dr Rowena Slope. Global elites driving an authoritarian 'progressive' agenda that expands their own power and wealth.
The post The Rise of Corporate Totalitarianism appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link What Next After Trans? Mon Apr 22, 2024 14:07 | Mary Gilleece
What next after trans? As polite society turns on gender mania, Mary Gilleece predicts the rise of social contagions even more terrifying.
The post What Next After Trans? appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link Apple ?Scraps Vegan iPhone Cases? After Backlash Mon Apr 22, 2024 12:00 | Will Jones
Apple has reportedly suspended production of vegan phone cases it started selling less than a year ago following a backlash against their poor durability. Seems we use leather for a reason.
The post Apple “Scraps Vegan iPhone Cases” After Backlash appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

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Support for Bantry Concerned Action Group against ESB Pylons.

category cork | rights, freedoms and repression | news report author Monday June 05, 2006 23:15author by Niall Harnett - Rossport Solidarity Camp / Gluaiseacht. Report this post to the editors

Point of contact for those preparing to travel to Bantry in anticipation of tomorrow's expected assault by ESB

The Bantry Concerned Action Group want the ESB to put this 14km stretch of powerline underground, as is the accepted norm now internationally, for health and safety reasons. Know this … pylons and overhead lines cause leukaemia and cancer.

Following the recent high court injunction granted to the ESB against 6 Bantry landowners, effective from last Thursday June 1st, local residents, inspired by the Rossport Five, are committed to treating this injunction with the contempt it deserves and will be blockading any attempts by the ESB to start work on their land from tomorrow Tuesday 6th June onwards.
Joe, blood pressure low last week, forced to rest up for a few days.
Joe, blood pressure low last week, forced to rest up for a few days.

Following a meeting last night at the Rossport Solidarity Camp Gathering to discuss this issue and to garner some support for the Bantry residents, some volunteers from Cork and elsewhere around the country have offered to be there to help on the ground with this blockade from tomorrow and onwards.

This is a health and safety issue in terms of the risk of leukaemia and cancer to local residents, and an environmental issue in terms of the proposed destruction of native woodland to facilitate private wind farm developers Murnane & O’Shea who want to connect to the national grid and … eh … Glanta Windfarm, Dromourneen has not even yet received planning permission!

“We are not against this windfarm, and we would be quite happy for the ESB to run an underground line through our property. We asked for this from the beginning, but the ESB wouldn’t even consider it.” - Joe Burke (BCAG)

“We have powers under the 1927 act. We can come through your land five times if we want to, out side your window, and you couldn’t stop us. I could put one over your house if I want to.” - ESB Official

“There's no sense to it. In the name of God, it shouldn't be allowed at all.” - Jim Burke, Joe's Dad.

Joe, a strong man in more ways than one, had a kidney transplant 16 years ago and sadly is very familiar with ill-health. His children are healthy and that's the way he wants to keep it. He and others with him will not allow the ESB to threaten the health and safety of their families.

So … contact Joe at 086 2705589, have a chat with him about where and who meet etc and give him your numbers for quick mobilisation when ESB contractors start to move. He’s just waiting for your calls!

Related Link:

Strong again now with his family, ready to fight.
Strong again now with his family, ready to fight.

Under threat ...
Under threat ...

Cronin's Wood.
Cronin's Wood.


author by Bantry Concerned Action Grouppublication date Tue Jun 06, 2006 11:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This is to advise that no further developments will take place with regard to the Bantry Concerned Action Groups endeavor against the ESB until the 21st of june next. A stay of no action is put in place until then.

Depending on the outcome of the stay this time frame may be extended further.

author by Phibiuspublication date Mon Jun 26, 2006 15:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I think your advice regarding a link between cancer and powerlines is incorrect - see below, a link to a FAQ which dispells some misconceptions.

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author by Niall Harnettpublication date Wed Jun 28, 2006 15:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

ESB have been moving today and yesterday delivering poles to the side of the road preparing for anticipated attempts to move in and start work on local lands. Local resistance and moral is strong and ready despite threats of injunctions, costs and fines etc.

In the last few weeks a number of 'visitors' to the area, in solidarity with BCAG (Bantry Concerned Action Group, have set up camp and lodge in support. So ... for anyone wishing to travel to Bantry, there is a place here for you to stay and a little work to be done to improve the camp and our little lodge here in the woods.

It's beautiful and local residents and the BHAG are in full support of us as we are of them.

Contact details above in main article.

Photo report coming soon.

In response to comment above about cancer, I'll just say this for the moment ... that's not the only report on this topic!

Yes, this is a health issue, but there are also issues of environmental and social concern, planning, lack of consultation, lies, bullying ... the list goes on etc etc.

As I say ... more soon.


author by Niall Harnettpublication date Thu Jun 29, 2006 13:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Trucks, jeeps, vans, poles and diggers all arrived at Joe Burke's farm this morning trying to push in. The ESB, accompanied by a number of gardai in two squad cars, parked their vehicles in his driveway and on his land. He asked them to go back out on the road and they refused.

A standoff has developed with locals arriving all the time to keep out the ESB. All efforts to gain access to the land are being blocked.

Also here are an RTE film crew and media photographers.

For more information telephone Niall, 086 8444 966.

Photo report coming soon ...

author by Searc - Donegal Alternatives to Pylonspublication date Sat Jul 01, 2006 16:38author email info at dun-na-ngall dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

We in the Donegal Alternatives to Pylons campaign lend our support to the Bantry Concerned Action Groups in their fight to maintain the scenic beauty of their area and to protect their health.
This is a Civil Rights issue and across the Country we must unite to make it an election issue.


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author by iosafpublication date Mon Jul 03, 2006 01:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The data you link to is based on US research papers dated from the 2000 to 2002 period, published on a low prestige university website. These might have been comissioned or encouraged as a result of lobbying postures both in favour of High Tension Powerlines and those against in the USA.

Neither Bantry nor Donegal are in the USA, no matter the posturing of the government coalition, both towns are in the EU. Sweden (with whom we share more quirky genes and DNA than the USA) has recognised since 2000 "electromagnetic hypersensitivity" (EHS) and calculated in 2005 that 3.1% of Swedes – 200,000 people – suffer from the condition.

The UK with whom we share more politics and genes than either Sweden or the USA launched its government review of existing studies in January 2005 through "The National Radiological Protection Board" (NRPB). [the NRPB merged with the UK Health Protection agency in April 2005] That review was in response to seperate studies by Two studies into the condition, funded with £750,000 from the Department of Health and the telecommunications industry.

Which themselves had resulted from the sort of lobbying which led to the link Phibius gave us up the page to Winconsin university. Thats how lobbies work - - I know - - I am a lobbyist.

Standing directly below a 400 kilovolt power line might expose a person to levels as high as 40 microteslas, and international regulations are that a person may not be exposed to 1000 microteslas over a 24 hour period as of 2004 previously the limit was set at 1600 microteslas. Spring 2004 the UK's National Radiological Protection Board found those exposed to long-term electromagnetic radiation levels above 0.4 microtesla are at double the risk of childhood leukaemia but that was the easiest "ill health" to judge being a pretty horrible pathology to have.

Most studies on such radiation also bring in mobile telephone masts and receivers, the last international rulings of 2000 setting clear guidelines on the reduction of handset power. The realisation that radiation of such a variety posed health risks, or was associated with pathogenic processes such as tumor building and cancer came from the increased marketing of mobile phones.

You could almost say the tinfoil hat brigade learnt that the pylons their forebears raised were fecking dangerous once the SMS message kicked off. In 2000 thus, both governments and industries which "do electrical things" decided to _reduce_ both output of microteslas and teh range of radiation emitted from 50hertz (a pylon) to 300 gigahertz (a mobile)

I hope that all campaigns against high Tension pylons no matter where they are should count on excellent research data on this topic. Surely! :-) Anyone like Joe of Bantry above recovering in the bed with a bookshelf like that (pictured above) can handle that sort of reading.

I note that no-one is saying "These things are well dangerous" & doesn't find themselves being contradicted convincingly by independent authorities. But if any more is needed in Ireland by the casual reader then who wish take the Phibius link ( or those who say "whhhhhhst ya langer notingh wrong with them" seriously ( )
:- The section of population one really ought study are the workers in Garda Siochana stations, since they are not always in the station for full shift and thus fall into a "casual electricity environmental worker". Tthe Gardaí saw erected on their little roofs the highest concentration of differing antenna (to support their own communications and mobile phones and tv and not "spoil the landscape") in the European Union over their heads. {blame the FF Labour coaltion for that one} Find a local Garda, ask him or her are they exposed to more than 4 microteslas a shift, what frequency Hertz range they work in, and if they get headaches or have noticed any impaired judgement.

Meanwhile I'm behind these Bantry people.
the ESB are vandals. It's been 300 years since Benjamin Franklin was born, reached his zenith flying a kite in a storm with a key on the string & learning "its dangerous".:.

here are the links to campaign groups in France and Catalonia who fight the Pyrennes route. if U need it translated send me a mail.

author by Bantry Concerned Action Grouppublication date Mon Jul 03, 2006 10:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The link you gave l( ) leads to John Moulder, a well known consultant for the electricity industry.

For an alternative, independent view try which is the site of Professor Dennis Henshaw of the Bristol University Human Radiation Effects Group.

Also try

author by frankpublication date Wed Jul 05, 2006 12:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

keep up the good work,joe burke,we are in full support of what you are doing,we have similar problems with the esb in the boyle area of county roscommon but like bantry we will not allow esb onto land unless its to install underground cable.
underground is the way forward,look at every town and village in the country where all cables are undergrounded. esb put their 220kv lines underground from carrickmines to shellybank in dublinso why not boyle and bantry?
stop your bullying esb ,its 2006,we wont stand for any more of your nonsence.Bury the powerlines,not the people.

Related Link:
author by James 2publication date Wed Jul 05, 2006 22:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I agree totally with Frank, yes it is 2006 and the 1927 Electricity Act (constantly referred to by ESB heavies) is pretty old and was infact declared unconstitutional in 1985 ( it failed to deal with the compensation issue and people's private property rights). It is also a stipulation for Tidy Towns Competitions that unsightly ESB lines are buried in towns and villages around Ireland - so why is it OK to build monstrous pylons/poles around the beautiful irish countryside when these cables can be easily buried (like Frank said in TWO different locations in Dublin City) and in Great Island Cobh in Co Cork in 2004. ESB better listen to the people - before they waste millions and millions on senseless projects which will never get finished.

author by noodlepublication date Wed Jul 05, 2006 22:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Have you any proof of this act being declared unconstitional as this might change things everso slightly rem. the Mr A case not so long ago?

If you know the case names or any other info please post here. No matter how little it would all help.



author by Phibiuspublication date Thu Jul 06, 2006 15:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You still aren't able to show any research demonstrating a direct link between power lines and cancer - for the very good reason that it doesn't exist . The article begins by saying "Know this … pylons and overhead lines cause leukaemia and cancer"... on the basis of a single study showing that children who live very close to overhead powerlines have twice the risk of developing leukemia (which risk remained in fact still extremely low). The farmer you are trying to help is exposed to considerably greater (demonstrated, real) risks by sunlight and diesel fumes and cholesterol than he is by power lines.

The link Iosaf gave ( explains this, and also has a very interesting section on "Electrical Sensitivity" - which, Swedish recognition notwithstanding, has all the hallmarks of a completely imaginary syndrome (symptoms are vague, inconsistent between individuals, no clear correlation between exposure and symptoms) - you might as well cite the fact that the NHS pays for homeopathy as evidence that it works.

By all means protest that pylons are ugly, or that farmers are inadequately compensated for the presence of pylons; but to talk up the "health risks" of electromagnetic radiation is to ignore the scientific evidence - and hypocritical too, if you or the protesters (or the farmer in question) carry mobile phones or use computers, televisions, etc.

Related Link:
author by DennisLpublication date Thu Jul 06, 2006 16:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hello everyone,

I am an electronic engineer...currently researching antenna structures. So I know a little about electromagnetic theory, limited mainly to microwave frequencies (greater than 1.5MHz). So I'm just going to talk in general terms about how I would percieve the health "risks" involved.

First off the frequency of power lines (50Hz) is extremely low. This helps it travel well in wires, reducing radiated components (radiation from the line) to a minimum. 50Hz is also not absorbed by human tissue much (3,000,000,000Hz for that).

Now I'm not saying that there is no risk, you won't see me messing about around pylons all day, but incidental exposure, even for a long time, shouldn't cause many problems. Your mobile phone, eating chips, smoking, watching TV, etc... all have proven risks as well (mobile phones especially considering most people carry them in pockets 24/7). I think it's just worth putting things like this into perspective.

Personally I would like to see them in the groound, but more for aesthetic reasons. It's a bit sad that we can't manage that in this day and age.

author by frankpublication date Fri Jul 07, 2006 00:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

in reply to NOODLE "unconstitutional". i.e. the 1927 act. In a supreme court case in 1985 which is referred to as "the gormely v esb case",the judge said the 1927 electricity act was unconstitutional and thats when the 1985 ammendement act was intrduced.This is all unfinished business.Nobody has taken the case any further-YET. We do have constitutional rights and remember that the esb require landowners to sign a "deed of easement". This is got by paying the landowner compensation.Also remember that the law does NOTexist that can make you sign your name.This is just another problem for esb. The 1927 act does give them power to build lines "for the common good" but without a landowner signing the deed of easement the esb would NOT have title to the ground the line would be built on.This would be another problem for esb when they privatise the transmisson section of esb.Who would buy it without title?

author by Bantry Concerned Action Grouppublication date Fri Jul 07, 2006 00:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A major new study found that children whose birth address was within 200 meters of an overhead power line had a 70% increased risk of leukemia. Children living 200 to 600 meters away from power lines had a 20% increased risk. This indicates the danger from power lines is appreciably further from the lines than had been identified in previous studies. The study, which was partially funded by the power-line industry, mapped how far each child lived from a high voltage overhead power line. It compared the children who had cancer with a control group of 29,000 children without cancer, but who lived in comparable districts, Appearing in the June 2005 British Medical Journal, the study concludes there is a statistical link between EMF from power lines and leukemia. The study – a collaboration between the Childhood Cancer Research Group at the University of Oxford and National Grid owners, Transco – looked at cancer data or children aged up to 15 years old in England and Wales between 1962 and 1995.

Related Link:
author by Phibiuspublication date Fri Jul 07, 2006 09:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I think perhaps you are quoting too selectively from the study that you mention: in its conclusions, the paper that you link to says that:

"If the relationship is causal, about 1% of childhood leukaemia in England and Wales would be attributable to these lines, though this estimate has considerable statistical uncertainty. There is no accepted biological mechanism to explain the epidemiological results; indeed, the relation may be due to chance or confounding."

The paper concludes by pointing out that the risk - if it does exist (and they point out that the apparent relationship to distance does not match the falloff of a magnetic field) - is very small - and that children are 40 times more likely to be killed in a traffic accident, and 6 times more likely to die in house fires.
The same paper - directly contradicting this article - points out that no link whatsoever was discovered between power lines and cancers other than leukaemia. On the basis of the research presented in the various comments, this article is factually inaccurate, and should be corrected.

author by charles maguire - the peoplepublication date Fri Jul 07, 2006 17:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

All natural resources, including the air and all forms of potential energy, within the jurisdiction of the Parliament and Government established by this Constitution and all royalties and franchises within that jurisdiction belong to the State subject to all estates and interests therein for the time being lawfully vested in any person or body.
1. The Irish language as the national language is the first official language.,,all citizens have the right to transact all buisness with state bodies in irish,,an fluent speaker shoulb be found an all official conversation should be transacted in irish . All citizens shall, as human persons, be held equal before the law.

This shall not be held to mean that the State shall not in its enactments have due regard to differences of capacity, physical and moral, and of social function.

2. 1° Titles of nobility shall not be conferred by the State.

2° No title of nobility or of honour may be accepted by any citizen except with the prior approval of the Government.

3. 1° The State guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate the personal rights of the citizen.

2° The State shall, in particular, by its laws protect as best it may from unjust attack and, in the case of injustice done, vindicate the life, person, good name, and property rights of every citizen.

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author by charles maguire - the peoplepublication date Sat Jul 08, 2006 18:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors


The Electricity Supply Board have extensive powers under the 1927 and 1945 Acts. Those are necessary although, as some Members said, they go a bit far. In effect, the ESB can erect power lines wherever they want to. They can connect lines to buildings. In general there seems to be no end to what they can do. In the early fifties I was fortunate to get employment with the ESB on the rural electrification scheme. My experience would bear out what the Minister has said that, by and large, lines are erected by consent and under negotiated agreements. I do not know of any occasions when lines were otherwise erected. Nevertheless, many landowners are dissatisfied because while in effect they might be able to negotiate regarding the location of lines or poles, very seldom is there the choice of not having poles on their land. It is Hobson's choice in all cases and often the value of the land was lowered by the placing of these poles, [1640] especially with regard to cultivation and ploughing in that area.Seanad Éireann - Volume 107 - 02 April, 1985

Electricity (Supply) (Amendment) Bill, 1985: Second and Subsequent Stages.

Minister of State at the Department of Energy (Mr. E. Collins) Minister of State at the Department of Energy (Mr. E. Collins)

Minister of State at the Department of Energy (Mr. E. Collins): The powers of the Electricity Supply Board to place any electric line above or below ground, across any land and to attach to any wall, house, or other building any bracket or other fixture required for the carrying or support of an electric line or any electrical apparatus are set out in section 53 of the Electricity (Supply) Act, 1927.

In exercising these powers the ESB make every effort to ensure that they will cause as little inconvenience as possible, or disturbance to property and, indeed, it is an integral part of the board's procedures to visit landowners concerned to discuss with them the route of the electric line and the planned positions of masts. All suggestions for changes made by the landowners are then carefully and fully considered by the board in an effort to meet the wishes of the landowners and changes are made where this can be done within technical and economic limitations and without unreasonably affecting other landowners. Finally, the board issue a wayleave notice in writing to the owner or occupier of the lands in accordance with section 53, subsection (3), of the 1927 Act and if within seven days the owner or occupier of the lands gives consent, or fails to give consent, the ESB may place the electric line across the lands in question. The ESB do, however, pay compensation, but on an ex gratia basis, for the disturbance to farming or for the sterilisation of lands arising from the placing of the electric line over the lands. The amount of compensation paid is based on guidelines agreed with the Irish Farmers' Association.


A problem has arisen for the ESB with regard specifically to subsection (5) of [1627] section 53 of the 1927 Act. The ESB are erecting a 220 Kv transmission line from the generating station at Great Island, Campile, County Wexford, to a transformer station at Arklow, County Wicklow. The route of the line passed over particular lands in County Wexford where the owner objected to the erection of the line and locked out the ESB workers when they attempted to erect the line across the property in accordance with a statutory notice served on the landowner under section 53 of the Electricity (Supply) Act, 1927.

The ESB sought and obtained an injunction against the landowner in the High Court in June 1983 when all the various grounds of the owner's case were rejected by the trial judge. The landowner then appealed to the Supreme Court and that court, having heard the case in early February 1985, issued its judgment on Thursday, 21 March 1985.

The court acknowledged clearly the social benefits of electricity and its contribution to the economic welfare of the State and pointed out that the uncontradicted evidence adduced in the case of the necessity for and the value of the transmission line to the national supply system leads to an inescapable conclusion that the power to lay it compulsorily is a requirement of the common good. The court did not, however, accept a contention that the payment of compensation ex gratia in an amount determined by the ESB is to be equated with a right to compensation, lacking as it does the essential ingredient of the ultimate right to have the amount assessed by an independent arbitrator or tribunal. The court was, therefore, satisfied that the compulsory powers contained in section 53 (5) of the Act of 1927 are invalid having regard to the provisions of the Constitution.


Legal advice is that the Supreme Court judgment means that, while the erection of all electricity lines can continue where there are consents or negotiated agreements, the use of the power to enter under section 53 (5), where there is not consent, requires to be supported by a [1628] provision at law for compensation and for the determination of that, in the absence of agreement, by independent arbitration. I do not have to underline for the House the disastrous effect which delays or inability to carry forward their work would have on the ESB's every day operations in the extension of supply to all consumers whether industrial, commercial or domestic. I am confident that the consent and negotiation procedures which the ESB have carried on with landowners and their representatives will continue to be successful in the vast majority of cases, but the court ruling requires an express statutory provision for compensation and on arbitration.

The first 300 MW unit of the Moneypoint generating station is scheduled to come on stream on 1 October 1985. The ESB have scheduled their weekly work programmes, including the erection of the transmission lines to Dublin, to meet this deadline. The board have calculated that every week's delay in meeting the 1 October 1985 deadline will cost the board £1 million in lost benefit through having to meet electricity demand from other higher cost generating capacity rather than from the Money point station. Any delay, therefore, in completing the erection of the 400 K V transmission lines will cost the ESB £1 million for each week's delay.

The House will appreciate the paramount need that the ESB be not held up in proceeding with their work even in cases where consent is not forthcoming. Having regard to the implications for the ESB arising from the Supreme Court judgment, it is imperative that the board's wayleave powers be made constitutional as a matter of extreme urgency. The Bill before the House is designed to achieve that purpose by providing for the entitlement of landowners to compensation in respect of the exercise by the ESB of the powers conferred under section 53 of the Electricity (Supply) Act, 1927, such compensation to be assessed, in default of agreement between the ESB and any landowner, under the provisions of the Acquisition of Land (Assessment of Compensation) Act, 1919.


[1629] When this Bill was in the Dáil last week a number of Deputies expressed the hope that the seven day notice in the Act could be increased to, say, 14 days or, at least, to give some better notice. I sympathise with this point of view but I am assured that the ESB have never refused any objection made outside the seven day deadline. On this deadline, I would like to remind the House that the period was 14 days in the Electricity (Supply) Act, 1927 but this was reduced to seven days in an amending Act of 1945 solely to benefit consumers waiting for connection of electricity supply and, particularly in emergency cases, including, for example, local events such as fairs or fetes where supply was required within a very short time scale. Nevertheless, I have undertaken to impress upon the ESB the need to give ample notice and to exercise the greatest care and sensitivity in dealing with landowners' rights.

I would add two further brief comments. The common good in any democracy depends on reasonable people acting, all round, in a reasonable way. Electricity has brought immense benefits to all communities in this country and elsewhere. It has brought immense relief to the darkness, hardship and low levels of comfort in rural life up to the mid fifties. It is perfectly right that landowners' rights should indeed be sensitively dealt with, as I am assured they are, but it is equally right that everybody has a duty not to press his or her private rights to the ultimate, to the obstruction or detriment of the common good.


However, I would emphasise that this Bill will increase and secure further the rights of landowners. It will, of course, enable the ESB to continue with the essential work of expanding the social benefits of electricity to the economic welfare of the State which, as I mentioned earlier, has been acknowledged by the Supreme Court in its judgment, but its primary purpose is to provide for landowners a statutory right to compensation — in place of the ex gratia basis on which the ESB paid compensation heretofore — and to have the amount of the compensation settled by independent [1630] arbitration where this cannot be achieved by negotiation and agreement.

I strongly recommend the Bill to the House.

Mr. Ellis Mr. Ellis

Mr. Ellis: This Bill which the Minister has brought in to amend the Electricity (Supply) Act, 1927 is necessary in the eyes of the public and for the common good, and it gives us an opportunity of looking at some of the other aspects of the ESB's activities. This Bill provides seven days notice for the ESB but if I ask them for a connection I would be lucky to receive it in seven months. This has been a bone of contention especially for people building houses in rural areas who have found that not alone is waiting for connections very time consuming but also that the charges being extracted from them for power supplies are very high. I ask the Minister to take up this point with the ESB because in rural areas people are having major problems with the delay in the provision of power supplies. We can all understand that farmers have to be compensated for the very awkward situations in which they are very often left when the ESB are forced to erect pylons in positions which cause major problems in the use of their farm land. The amount of land lost to those pylons may seem very small in some people's eyes but the inconvenience caused can be a major problem to the farmers concerned. Tillage farmers can be forced to let a small plot of land lie unproductive due to the fact that it is covered by a pylon.

Also in rural areas not all people who are getting supplies are granted the EC subsidy which to all intents and purposes has been almost abolished. This subsidy of 80 per cent towards the cost of provision of a power supply in rural areas for farming purposes is a major loss. Not alone should it be available to farmers, it should also have been made available to any person building a house in a rural area because such people have the problems of providing services for themselves, unlike people in urban areas, and they are being charged all along the way for the provision of these services.


[1631] The Minister also said it is hoped that Moneypoint will be in operation by 1 October 1985. I hope that this will not sound the death knell for the small power stations such as those using peat and Arigna power station in my own area which uses home produced coal. It is sad to think that we are now going to import coal at quite a high price and that we will leave some of our own natural resources unused for the provision of power. The Minister states that it will probably be more economic, but everything cannot be measured in economic terms. We were told some time ago that if a major breakdown were to occur at Arigna that station could become obsolete and would not be repaired. I appeal to the Minister to make sure that this does not come about because the closing of power stations such as Arigna would be a major economic blow to rural Ireland. While economics must be considered I hope that we will not do away with major employers and major sources of income in these areas which are so short of employment.

I will not oppose the Bill, but I agree with a number of the speakers in the Dáil who expressed a preference for a 14-day period rather than the seven mentioned in the Bill. The ESB do not do things overnight and should be in a position to give at least 14 days notice of their intentions.

Mr. Burke Mr. Burke

Mr. Burke: I welcome the Bill and recognise the need for it. If in the past the ESB have been restricted in carrying out the work, there is a need to give them the opportunity to carry out that work with the utmost speed. However, if the ESB are to have power to make their acquisitions speedily, it is necessary that there be a quid pro quo and that subscribers seeking supply of electricity will also have a speeded up reaction as a result of this Bill.


Very often I am baffled by the operations of the ESB. I am glad to get the opportunity to say that I believe much of the work of the ESB planning section lacks imagination. I am sure you, a Leas-Chathaoirligh, are well acquainted with [1632] the present direction and course of the Moneypoint power line, and a look at the amenities of the area over which it passes will reveal that it has destroyed very many fine landscapes. While I understand that developments and progress cannot be halted, there should be some recognition of this fact. I am not too sure how seriously the ESB take that aspect into account. I see many landscapes destroyed by the unsightly erection of power lines which by their nature are very conspicuous.

The planning that has gone into Moneypoint to date seems to have been an engineering blunder. This time last year the power lines were practically completed in the area which passes very close to my place in County Galway but during the last three months I have seen men going back to those pylons, removing the original foundations and resetting them at an enormous cost. Each pylon may cost something in the region of £50,000 to erect, I am open to correction on that, and with research and development, and the acquisition of land, each pylon could cost a far greater sum. The ESB are removing the foundations of every one of those pylons and replacing them with hundreds of tons of concrete for new foundations. I cannot understand why they have to go back at enormous expense — far greater than the initial cost — and reconstruct those power lines. If the ESB have an answer for that failure of the engineering section, I would like to hear it.


There is public concern about not just the power lines and the erection of those power lines over a particular landscape, but about the health hazard such power lines can be. Many people have publicly expressed serious concern about this but to date, other than a glib assurance from the public relations section of the ESB, I have not heard a reasoned account from the ESB which would allay the fears about the safety and health of those living permanently adjacent to very high tension power lines. In future developments — such as we have from Moneypoint to Dublin — there should be a far greater [1633] consciousness of the landscape or terrain over which those power lines would pass.

Many people, including some of my constituents, have made very serious complaints against the ESB locally about the delay in knowing exactly what compensation they are entitled to. Trucks, tractors, huge machinery, have ploughed into landscapes at all times of the year, often at very unfavourable times and the ESB must be criticised for that. It would cost the ESB less in the long run if in future, they took all these circumstances into consideration.

Compensation for damage to land is one thing, but when people actually objected to the ESB coming on to their land the reply they got was that the matter would be settled in the courts. Some people have been waiting three years for the courts to decide. I know the ESB have no jurisdiction over the long delays that occur through the court system but I believe there would be far less hassle or need to go through the costly exercise of legal proceedings if the ESB were more forthcoming in dealing with the public than they have been to date. A great PR exercise has been lost through the actions of the ESB to date. I would like the Minister to let us know if there has been a failure in the original design of the pylon, or if there has been a failure with regard to part or all of the Moneypoint line which is in course of construction.

I want to mention the new connections that have been mentioned by the last speaker. In rural areas where the ESB have supplied power they did not provide maintenance, except where there was storm damage or something like that. They left a system which would hopefully, supply the required service, but when new connections are demanded the applicant has to foot the bill for any additional work carried out. When I say “additional” I mean that the new subscriber has to pay for the repairs and maintenance that are long overdue and will have to pay for the costing.


In rural Ireland one transformer can supply two or three houses and another applicant for domestic supply may not be [1634] a great burden on that transformer but if a new engineering works applies for electricity and a new transformer is needed the subscriber has to pay for it. This may cost thousands of pounds which many new subscribers are not able to pay. Long term finance arrangements are available through the ESB, but they are equally costly. Many people do not like to get large two-monthly demands, especially when they are setting up a new home. This could cripple them financially at a time when it is difficult to get jobs in rural Ireland. The ESB should not take advantage of new subscribers by burdening them with what is really a maintenance job the ESB should have carried out many years before.

Under the western package there are substantial grants of 65 per cent for new subscribers, but the conditions laid down for that scheme are very rigid and selective. Many people who make applications under that scheme are turned down and the appeal system is nothing more than a rubber stamp. Having been refused the grant assistance towards the provision of supply, it is very seldom that the person makes a successful appeal because rarely, if ever, are the ESB's decisions changed to the satisfaction of the applicant. Perhaps this is an indication of the thoroughness of the first examination they give the application, but very often it has been proved to be otherwise. They are reluctant to change their minds. I ask the Minister to examine the question of new connections, particularly in the west, in places which are far removed from existing supply. They should be less rigid in their demands and not confine supply to areas which are FEOGA aided.


Many people wonder at the capacity we have for electricity generation. The Minister mentioned that delays in the connection of some generating stations would cost £1 million per week. At various times, particulary at election time, there are rumours that X, Y or Z stations, whether in peatbog land areas, the midlands or on the western seaboard in places like Screebe in Connemara or Arigna are to close. There is a great debate and somebody brings in a rescue [1635] package. The ESB and the Government should come clean on this. If we are talking about planning, we must know exactly what is to happen. That is important for the many people who have, over the years, provided service in the smaller generating stations and for those who live in the areas and are part of the social as well as the economic structure there. There should be a firm indication given about the lifetime of those stations. They are not decisions that can be made at the snap of a finger. The people working there are entitled to due notice that the lifetime of the stations are coming to an end.

Often people who criticise the inefficiency of the peat-burning stations do so out of ignorance. We can down them if we want to by quoting figures and percentages but it is important to recognise the need they fulfilled over the years.

I recognise the need for this Bill whereby the ESB, with due consultation, have the power to make decisions, have forward planning and have the right to enter lands. The ESB need to carry out a far better PR job if they are to be successful. It would be much better than going through long court proceedings.

Mr. W. Ryan Mr. W. Ryan

Mr. W. Ryan: It is only right that after 50 years there should be some change made as far as the ESB are concerned. The ESB have too much power as regards the erection of pylons and poles on farmer's land compared to other bodies such as the Department of Posts and Telegraphs who had to erect lines along the road if possible and not enter farmland at all.

Farmers suffered a lot at the time of rural electrification. They were not as organised as they are today and had to put up with what happened. I saw poles placed 10 yards from a fence even though they could have been erected at the side of the fence thus avoiding obstruction to the farmer. From now on I expect there will be more co-operation between the ESB and the farming community.


It is sad to see our scenery being destroyed by pylons. There are not many [1636] in my area but two years ago I met some people in Killaloe who were up in arms because pylons were being brought across the Shannon. They told me they had made several protests to the ESB but had not succeeded in getting the route changed. It meant cutting down woods and so on in that area. That is something the ESB could have avoided. It seems that when the ESB decide there is to be a line from Cork to Dublin it does not matter what stands in the way, it has to be destroyed. I have not been in Killaloe since then and do not know what happened but I hope something will be done by the ESB to preserve the beauty of that area.

The time has come for the ESB to consider putting heavy power lines underground. There are enough wires all over the country as it is. Gas cannot be brought by pylon or overhead wires but the ESB could learn a lot from the laying of the gas pipeline from Cork to Dublin. People said it would take two or three years to bring the gas to Dublin but it took two or three months. One would want to be there to see those people at work and the way they made agreements with the landowners and so on.

I was surprised to see that if this Bill was not passed it would cost the ESB £1 million per week to finish the Moneypoint line to Dublin. I thought that line was finished some time ago. It is two or three years since it was first mentioned. Senator Burke mentioned that they had to reinforce the foundations of those pylons. That means there was a mistake made by some officials or engineers in the ESB. Moneypoint will cost a lot more, and who will pay for the mistakes of others? It is the consumer who will have to pay. Shortly after the pylons were erected, a number of them were blown down by a storm. In every walk of life today, it is the taxpayer, the ratepayer and the consumer who have to pay the penalty for mistakes made.


I understand that in the west of Ireland it now costs about £2,000 for a new householder to get electricity installed. The EC grant of up to 80 per cent has almost gone and is going altogether. A young couple [1637] who buy a site and build a house have to pay £2,000 for the installation of electricity. That is going a bit far. Electricity should be installed in every house without any cost as it was in the early days.

The Bill is necessary. In the old days farmers got little or no compensation for the amount of damage done to their farms by the ESB.

Mr. Howlin Mr. Howlin

Mr. Howlin: I understand and appreciate the rationale of this Bill and the need for it. There is general acceptance that the supply of electricity is necessary not only for the economic wellbeing of the country but also the social wellbeing in the 1980s. I should like to take this opportunity to make two general points. First, I want to talk for a moment about the general strategy of the ESB in their approach to the provision of electricity and their plans for future consumption.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach An Leas-Chathaoirleach

An Leas-Chathaoirleach: Senator Howlin, I allowed some Senators to drift a little bit. I will also give you some latitude but not the amount I gave to an earlier speaker.

Mr. Howlin Mr. Howlin

Mr. Howlin: I appreciate your position. The point I wanted to make was the need for power lines. This is relevant to the Bill. I became interested in energy when the Carnsore project was being mooted for my county in the latter part of the seventies. At that stage we had a projected expectation of growth in electricity consumption. It was expected that there would be a huge increase in demand for electricity throughout the eighties. That has not come to pass.


The consequences of that in terms of costings for electricity are evident in that we have some of the most expensive electricity in the developed world, in the industrial countries we are competing with directly for markets. Forecasting can never be an exact science but I hope that it will be possible to be a bit closer to the figure in the future so that our native fuel burning stations will not be in danger of being closed down or phased out, and indeed not only the native fuel burning stations but also some of the very efficient [1638] oil burning stations like Great Island referred to by the Minister which is located in my constituency. It is important that we safeguard the jobs in existence there and the communities who are dependent on them, rather than rushing ahead and providing an electricity supply for which there is no demand and for which there is a bill to be met.

I appreciate, as I said, that forecasting cannot be an exact science. I also appreciate that the ESB have a responsibility to provide electricity and that the consequences of their decisions are very great for the nation. Should they under-estimate demand, the consequences of that would be far more serious than overestimation. I fully accept that. I hope the actual projections will be closer to the mark in future.

I want to talk about the environmental implications of the provision of electricity supply. I do this from two perspectives. First, there is the effect on the visual amenities of having huge pylons dotted across the country. Somebody described them in the other House as giants marching across the landscape. The technology must exist to supply electricity without ravaging some of the most beautiful and picturesque landscapes in Ireland. The technology must exist to provide it underground or by more aesthetic means than those currently employed.

The other environmental aspect I want to talk about is a more serious one, that is, the growing belief that people living in close proximity to the overhead pylons, or working continuously beneath them or in their shadow, are at risk from a health perspective. That is a great cause of concern and is a great worry to many people. Research in this area is limited. I hope the Minister can assure me and the people who will be affected by this legislation that their health will not be adversely affected by the proximity of overhead pylons which are required for the common good.


I want to re-echo the point made by other Senators about the prohibitive cost for young people of getting an electricity supply to their new homes. The message often goes out from the State through its [1639] agencies to young people in particular: Stay put; do not try to do anything for yourself because we the State will provide it for you and, if you have the daring and the imagination to go out and build your own house and provide the essentials, we will tie a millstone of cost around your neck. I hope the Minister will receive that message sent out by many Senators in the course of the debate today and look at some mechanism whereby the cost factor to young people in particular of getting an electricity supply can be reduced. I accept the necessity for the Bill and I will support it.

Mr. Fitzsimons Mr. Fitzsimons

Mr. Fitzsimons: My contribution will be very brief. The effects of the Bill will impinge on an area about which I, like the other Members of the House, have a deep concern. I will not oppose the Bill. I agree that its primary purpose is to provide for landowners a statutory right to compensation in place of the ex gratia basis on which the ESB paid compensation heretofore. It is a matter of extreme urgency both from the point of view of cost and the provision of services.


The Electricity Supply Board have extensive powers under the 1927 and 1945 Acts. Those are necessary although, as some Members said, they go a bit far. In effect, the ESB can erect power lines wherever they want to. They can connect lines to buildings. In general there seems to be no end to what they can do. In the early fifties I was fortunate to get employment with the ESB on the rural electrification scheme. My experience would bear out what the Minister has said that, by and large, lines are erected by consent and under negotiated agreements. I do not know of any occasions when lines were otherwise erected. Nevertheless, many landowners are dissatisfied because while in effect they might be able to negotiate regarding the location of lines or poles, very seldom is there the choice of not having poles on their land. It is Hobson's choice in all cases and often the value of the land was lowered by the placing of these poles, [1640] especially with regard to cultivation and ploughing in that area.

With regard to the environmental aspect, I agree totally with what has been said by previous speakers. In areas of scenic beauty such as Donegal, the west and Kerry, the environment is practically destroyed by these poles and networks of lines. They are also just as objectionable in other areas. The large pylons and large poles stand out as sore thumbs but rural electrification made this a widespread problem all over the country. People who are erecting buildings are restricted by planning permission, but the ESB do not seem to be restricted in any way. While there are proper criticisms of some of our buildings, these can be softened to some extent and enhanced by the planting of trees and shrubs, but nothing can be done about poles. These poles stand up as pillars of progress and plunder at the same time, unfortunately.

I would agree with the previous speaker that serious consideration should be given to having these power lines underground. Section 53 of the Act should be altered to that effect. Subsection (1) states:

The Board and also any authorised undertaker may subject to the provisions of this section, and of regulations made by the Board under this Act, place any electric line above or below ground across any land not being a street, road, railway, or tramway.

With regard to the environment and the visual amenities which have been mentioned, we are inclined to think of the environment as something apart from costs, but costs must include damage which will affect the people living there, which will affect our tourism and which will affect the attractiveness of an area. With all the other Members I would ask that power lines wherever possible, would be underground.


Finally, with regard to the seven days notice which is mentioned in this Bill, I do not see any reason to change from the 14 days, although I appreciate what the Minister has said. In section 4 of the 1953 [1641] Act 14 days notice is mentioned. I would urge it as reasonable that we keep to 14 days notice but I appreciate that the Bill is necessary and I will not oppose it.

Mr. Hourigan Mr. Hourigan

Mr. Hourigan: First of all, I welcome this Bill. It deserves all our support. There are a few points I would like to raise for the attention of the Minister.

One thing that is not specifically mentioned here or in the Minister's speech is the question of insurance. One assumes that this whole area is adequately catered for already in previous legislation, but it is of paramount importance because if there were any injury or loss of life to humans or animals absolute, full and correct compensation should be provided for. This is an extremely important aspect. The Bill essentially talks about compensation to landowners for pylons erected on their farms. It is very difficult to quantify precisely the effect of these pylons. It varies enormously from area to area and from grass farming areas to tillage areas. The pylons would not have the same consequential effects on the cultivation of pastureland as it would on tillage operations. For that reason I suggest that arbitration might be provided for agreement on compensation where people are not satisfied with the guidelines drawn up between the Irish Farmers' Association and the ESB. That is a very good basis, but perhaps there could be provision for some redress, or appeal through an arbitrator, or some way to get the matter sorted out.

On the question of compensation, it would be very hard to quantify this precisely because we are talking of travelling on various types of land, about travelling with very heavy machinery on land. On certain types of land this would do no harm but it would upset on a permanent basis the whole texture of other land, the whole draining quality of the land and the whole permeation of water through it — or, indeed, not through it — in the future. For that reason, it is a very variable thing and I do not think it would be easy to standardise on a set situation.


On the question of timing, the Minister [1642] very clearly spoke about consultation between the landowner and the ESB. Allowing for that — and it is very desirable that there be maximum consultation with regard to when the project would be undertaken — I would share the view that seven days is a short time, too short from the point of view of giving notice. There is another matter connected with this which ought to be examined. With regard to the consultation, what exactly does this mean? Does it mean that a certain route is planned by the ESB and the landowner is told that that is the route? He has little choice in this, because if there is any deviation from set routes, it can in many cases reduce the amount of compensation paid.

Could the Minister give us an indication of the level and also precisely the manner of payment? Is it to be done through a person's accounts or will it be done on an annual basis? I think nobody could oppose this Bill. I wholeheartedly support it. It is a progressive Bill and essential to allow certain developments for the good of the nation. But, in that whole process, it is essential that the various elements I have mentioned, together with others mentioned by other Members, be taken into account. At the end of the day the person on whose land these structures are placed ought not be at any loss. Nor should they be placed in a position in which they would gain substantially therefrom. But one must take account of the fact that these structures are there, that apart from their nuisance value in the operation of machinery and the like there is the danger of young people climbing these pylons which can cause accidents. There is also a danger of injury to livestock from wires falling on them, which naturally is secondary to the dangers to human life.

Having posed those questions I recommend that the Bill be given full support.

Minister of State at the Department of Energy (Mr. E. Collins) Minister of State at the Department of Energy (Mr. E. Collins)


Minister of State at the Department of Energy (Mr. E. Collins): I am grateful to the Members who have contributed in a very constructive manner to this Bill. I [1643] am also grateful for what will have been its speedy passage through this House.

I should like to deal with two points of major importance raised by a number of Senators. In relation to the cost of connections, the ESB pay 40 per cent of the capital cost of connections in rural areas with the applicant paying the remaining 60 per cent. Under the western package electrification scheme the State pays 40 per cent of the capital costs of installation, the EC pays 40 per cent and the applicant the balance of 20 per cent. On this special scheme, which is part of a larger scheme administered by the Department of Agriculture, my Department merely act as agents. The provisions of the scheme are clearly defined and apply to the bringing of electricity to farms rather than to dwellings in the western area. It is a specific and limited scheme. I would not like Senators to think it had a broader significance or application vis-a-vis electricity policy.

A number of Senators raised the question of the possibility of putting wires underground. I suppose it would be nice to see all pylons and poles disappear from our land with our scenery maintained in all its beauty. I gave an example of the costs of such a policy vis-a-vis Moneypoint. If the ESB were to place the entire length, 480 kilometres, of these lines underground the direct additional costs would amount to £1.5 million per kilometre. That cost alone would be prohibitive. I do not think any reasonable person could justify it. From an economic point of view it simply would not be feasible. In fact the current required to charge up a 400 kv underground cable is so high compared to that required by an overhead line that no active power could be transmitted from Moneypoint to Dublin, involving a major technical point. So the major factor in placing these major transmission lines underground is one of cost but there is the technical aspect also. The cost element alone would be so prohibitive as not to be entertained.


Senator Ellis and others mentioned having a 14 day notice period rather than a seven day period. Senator Fitzsimons [1644] said that, from his experience, seven days was not adequate. The board make every effort to give sufficient early warning of wayleaves all along the routes they propose taking. I do not think they have ever had any difficulty in negotiating with people who were not satisfied with the seven days notice regulation.

Regarding the question of delays in implementing new connections, first, you must have your wayleaves cleared and, second, you must have a crew ready to undertake the work. By far the most important factor in delays is the question of getting wayleave clearance.

In fairness I think I should refer to points raised by a number of Senators regarding the bringing on stream of Moneypoint and the strategic planning of the growth rates of the ESB. Back in the seventies we all thought that the growth path for electricity consumption would be substantially higher in the eighties than it was then. Given the long lead-in time to the construction of generating stations one must realise that one cannot change policy overnight. I firmly believe that the policy decisions taken in relation to Moneypoint were correct at that time. The ESB strategic plan has been published. My Department will have due regard to balancing efficiency. Many Members will be aware that there have been serious criticisms of the high cost of electricity, especially to industrial users. We must make every possible effort to have an efficient and cheap supply of electricity. Having said that, my Department will carry out their responsibilities in regard to the strategic plan as published. We will bear in mind all the social and economic issues in relation to the existing stations.


Senator Burke referred to compensation for machinery coming in on lands and Senator Hourigan raised the question of compensation, methods of payment and the manner in which it would be reassessed. I should like to make it quite clear that this Bill is about the manner in which compensation is to be paid. The crux of this Bill, having regard to the fact that one subsection of a section has been found unconstitutional, is that people [1645] who are compensated will be compensated by independent means. That means it will be under the provisions of the Acquisition of Land (Assessment of Compensation) Act, 1919. That covers the independence exercised in deciding the question of compensation. The amount of compensation will be decided under that process and will not be predetermined by the ESB or predetermined by the landowner. In view of the decision of the Supreme Court, we propose to have an independent means of arbitration in relation to the whole question of compensation.

If there are any complaints regarding follow-up service for new connections, I would be glad to hear of them from the Senator and will have them examined. The ESB have a very good service section and I was surprised to hear some of the criticisms in that regard.

By and large the Bill protects the citizen. It has shifted the balance quite clearly after a period of many years in the citizen's favour. I reject Senator Burke's allegation that there was a major engineering blunder in Moneypoint in having pylons moved. My understanding of the matter is that the pylons are examined and strengthened where necessary before they are erected: in other words, all masts and foundations are rigorously examined when completed and all structural faults are eliminated before power is transmitted. That may explain what Senator Burke said was an engineering failure: rather it was greater care being taken by the board to ensure safety. If Senator Burke wishes to pursue the matter further I will be happy to consider any submissions he makes.


A question was raised by Senator Burke and others regarding the health of people living permanently near high tension power lines, particularly at Moneypoint. The scheme is nearing completion. This question has been raised from time to time, not alone in Ireland but in other countries where power lines have been a common feature of the landscape for many years. The World Health Organisation has concluded, on the basis of scientific evidence available, that [1646] power lines, even up to the level of the Moneypoint — 400 Kv lines — have no adverse effect on human health. This report is available and if any Member of the House wishes to have a copy of it he can ring my office and I will have a copy made available.

Senator Ryan mentioned the high cost of installation, particularly in the west. I have outlined how that matter is dealt with under the present regulations of the ESB. I fully realise that for a young couple getting married the cost of supplying a new electricity connection in isolated country areas is high. As I said at the beginning, the ESB pay 40 per cent of the cost of capital construction in installation, and I feel that on balance that is a fair subsidy on the part of the ESB.

Senator Howlin raised the question of planning. I have dealt with that. No one expected that the rate of increase in the consumption of electricity in the early eighties would be at or near zero. In the latter half of the seventies the rate of increase was 7 per cent, 8 per cent or even higher. The ESB have a statutory obligation to ensure that there is a sufficient capacity and a reserve capacity to meet all reasonable demands on the system. We should not disregard the fact that Moneypoint is a coal fired station. We have had two serious upheavals in energy over the past ten years which have caused the price of oil to rise by ten times in the decade. We do not know what is going to happen in the next ten years. For instance, we do not know if the war between Iran and Iraq is going to escalate and if it does what will be the effects. Neither would I like to prognosticate on the growth of the American economy or the growth within Europe or the British Isles. If we were to return to growth rates of the seventies, we would certainly see a rapid increase in the consumption of electricity.


We were right to take the coal alternative. I feel it is one which is safer and provides us with more security with regard to the supplying of energy to the country. It is an expensive exercise capital-wise. That has been criticised but in [1647] the long term we are securing our electricity supply by broadening the base of options from the point of view of the primary source of energy, namely, moving from oil to coal. It is within the framework of the EC which has adopted a positive strategy to move away from oil because of the damage it has done to economies and because of the uncertainty with regard to its supply and cost in the years ahead.

I have dealt with the environmental aspect, a matter again raised by Senator Howlin and other speakers. The cost is prohibitive and we have to realise that. Senator Fitzsimons raised the question of scenic beauty. He would like to see all the distribution network, the cables, underground but we have to face up to the fact that it is simply not economic. I cannot change that. The cost of putting cables underground is so high that it would have to be disregarded.

Regarding the placing of electricity poles, the ESB in erecting poles and pylons on land do their utmost to place those poles close to fences and ditches where they will cause least inconvenience and obstruction. When the rural electrification scheme was at its height, this was not always possible. It is now the ESB's firm policy. The directive to all of their staff is that the way leave provisions, which include the erection of poles, must be operated in a fair and reasonable manner. Where objections are raised by landowners the ESB will always move poles or change the route of lines if this can be done without unduly affecting other landowners or without being an unduly expensive exercise. Compensation had been settled on an ex gratia basis but now as a result of a Supreme Court decision compensation has been put on a statutory basis.


Senator Hourigan raised the question of insurance. I am advised that the board have a very comprehensive policy. Where possible damage is fully covered under the insurance. Claims are dealt with either by direct negotiations or by a common law action. The question of notification of claims within seven or 14 [1648] days has never been operative and that the ESB have always been most anxious to negotiate and facilitate landowners.

I thank the Members who contributed and I recommend the Bill to the House.

Question put and agreed to.

Agreed to take remaining Stages today.

Bill put through Committee, reported without amendment, received for final consideration and passed.

Mr. E. Collins Mr. E. Collins

Mr. E. Collins: I am very grateful to Members for the speedy consideration of the Bill. If all Government Bills were dealt with in such a speedy manner, we would be a very happy Government.

author by cris ni choisdealbha - Ionad Buail Isteachpublication date Thu Jul 20, 2006 13:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A Chairde,

Ba mhaith le lucht an Ionad Buail Isteach (eagras deonach i mBaile Átha Cliath) ár dtacaíocht a thabhairt do lucht Bantry Concerned Action Group.
Tá gach ceart agaibh sa troid seo - is uafásach an rud é go mbeadh Bord Soláthar an Leictreachais ag scriosadh na tíre ar son brabús lucht príobháideach gnó. Cosúil libh féin tá Cúigear Ros Dumhach, lucht Golden Vale Preservation Action, lucht Sábháil Teamhair na Rí i gCo. na Mí agus go leor grúpaí eile ag iarraidh an tír a chosaint ó ollscrios lucht gaimbín !
Tá súil againn bheith ag tacú libh ar aon bhealach gur féidir linn !

The members of Ionad Buail Isteach (voluntary group in Dublin) would like to express our support for Bantry Concerned Action Group.
You have every right on your side in this fight - its a terrible thing that ESB should be wreaking havoc on the countryside on behalf of private profiteers. Like yourselves the Rossport 5, the Golden Vale Preservation Action, those trying to save Tara in Co. Meath, and lots of other groups are standing against the destruction of the countryside by gombeenmen.
We hope to be able support you in any way we can !

author by Mollypublication date Thu Nov 23, 2006 20:17author email roisin at inwind dot itauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Regarding Esb poles on farmers land I would like to point out that compensation was not always paid. Who now owns these poles ? They tried to hoodwink the poor people who did not know their rights. The ESB when dealing with farmers acted the landlord and claimed " they" have the law on their side..It is high time that the people have joined "together "to object .

author by Regginpublication date Fri Feb 09, 2007 04:42author email regvolk at silk dot netauthor address 11200 Three Forks Rd., kelowna, B.C. V1P 1J8 CANADAauthor phone 250-765-5222Report this post to the editors

CONGRATULATIONS fom CANADA on your decisive victory with overhead power lines. We have many of the same challenges here in Canada in the community where I live. And we are also looking more at windpower. Underground sounds like a great solutuion to me especially for such a short distance.

I am also interested in contacting ANYONE currently living at Dromourneen as I belieive a relative of mine may have had property in this area at the time of Griffiths Valuation. I would be glad for an email or postal mail address.

Thank you very much.

Reg Volk-Kelowna, B.C. Canada

author by stressed homeownerpublication date Tue Jul 03, 2007 15:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

we purchased a serviced site to build our dream home on .

when we where building the esb came and said that we would have to stop and that they would get an injuction to stop us.

In the far field there is a pylon and the lines are coming over the back of our site and now they want a wayleave to cover most of our site and this has taken nearly 4 years to get this far.

Has anyone out there dealt with anything like this, if so could you let us know.

author by Rufuspublication date Tue Jul 03, 2007 16:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Yes Maam,

I have first hand, in depth detailed, dealings with planning applications on sites that are affected by Pylons. Yessiree Bob, whats your question, and before you give it here, please consider giving it to a commitee representative of your local Anti-Pylon Group who should be familiar with what stage the campaign is at and if a precedent for compensation has been set anywhere else along the line.

Yunderstand, Sonny?

author by stressed homeownerpublication date Fri Jul 06, 2007 00:33author email jpwmurphy at hotmail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi rufus

help, help, help, We are in co cork, and i dont know where my local committee is or where to start looking??.

Do you, or anyone else out there know if so i am giving my email address and i would be grateful of any info anyone has or where to start looking.

Rufus if you have any infomation that you think might be of help to us i would be grateful if you would share it.

thanking you

Stressed homeowner

author by Rufuspublication date Fri Jul 06, 2007 08:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Your sending out some confused signals. Your saying your a homeowner, yet you say your house is only half built, which is it? If you got planning and are buildin then you must have been sleep walkin for the last ten years when them ESB sons a guns were plannin this pylon route.

I was involved on the committee for action against the pylons up in Sligo, which ultimately has failed to stop the pylons across most of the route, but a comprehensive compensation package was approved for every viable effected site. If you got plannin then your site is certainly viable.

In my experience you aint gonna stop them sons a bitches from putting up the pylons but if you block them leave to go onto your land then they gotta get a court order to come in. And they dont like havin to do that.

I simply cant understand how you started building under the route of a planned pylon route.

Either you're one of these mutts who didnt give a goddam what was going on with them Anti-Pylon meetings that must have been happening thereabouts but now that ye discoverd its on yer pesky site you're a fumin.

Or else ye plain and simple got duped by some peckerhead who knew the lines were coming but still sold ye a site.

Either ways the ESB aint all powerful and you should have a committee of landowners who are resistin entry until compensation issues are addressed. I cant understand how you aint in one already. I dont have numbers for anyone in Bantry, but you will find that there are two sets of objectors. The idealistic objectors who are still dreamin about puttin the sons o bitch lines underground who will basically spit on you for a mentionin compensation and then theres the dang pragmaists, who know they're a comin but want to know what the hell there gonna git for the trouble.

Every son of a bitch who held out for compo here got it. Some runnin into the half a million mark. I dint get none coz I aint got no land, But I did some of the planning applications coz that my game , see? And every viable site got well andf truly compensated.

author by Advisorpublication date Fri Jul 06, 2007 09:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Prepare yourself to stand up to them. Get proactive and organised about it.

Fuck their wayleaves and threats of injunctions. Build your house.

Refuse permission to ESB onto your land and blockade them if they do.

Get some support.

More Bantry reports here: & here: - Read them.

Bantry Concerned Action Group website here: - Study it.

author by ANNE n JOE - EX BCAGpublication date Wed Nov 26, 2008 20:56author address author phone 0862705589Report this post to the editors

yes we heard all the excuses , from (E S B ) and their 'health advisers' over and over .Surely one life saved is enough of an argrument to underground all cables!! not to mention the damage to the landscape.B C A G were a gutsy bunch and that is where true POWER lies , plus great outside support ,information, determination, and an unfaltering spirit. THANKS TO ALL INVOLVED

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