I was deeply shocked and upset to hear of Derek Nally’s death on Thursday afternoon following a sudden heart attack. Derek and I have worked together since 1997 and it was thanks to his support and belief in my ability as a song-writer that “Burn the Black Suit” ever saw the light of day. He was a generous, enthusiastic, intelligent and hard-working man, respected by those he worked with, and he will be greatly missed.
I went to a meeting of the North East Pylon Pressure Group earlier in the week as EirGrid want to place one of these exceptionally ugly pylon things pretty close to my house. I object to them on a lot of levels, environmental issues, noise, health and on the general lack of respect EirGrid and the Irish Government have shown to the people in this area in failing to engage in proper consultation with them. The NEPP are an exceptionally committed and intelligent group of people who have been fighting this battle for the last three years. EirGrid withdrew their planning application for the overground pylons in a recent Planning Board hearing (there was a record number of submissions protesting against the application), NOT, as was reported in the press, on a mere “technicality” but because their planning application was exceptionally flawed – an application EirGrid were spending approx 140 000 euros of Irish taxpayers money PER DAY on defending. It seems ironic that protestors in this area who funded a legal team out of their own pockets should find their taxes funding the body they are trying to oppose. EirGrid faced NO penalty for withdrawing their application. They will most likely put forward a second proposal (their last opportunity to do so) over the next couple of months.
This is not simply a local issue for the North East. There are already plans for a large overground pylon network in other parts of the country (Mayo, Laoise) and it needs to become a national issue. It seems incredible that the government are willing to allow these hideously ugly and obtrusive constructions to be erected across some of our most beautiful countryside when there is an affordable and practical alternative. You can access more information about this at www.nepp.ie