Residents in the Cortober/Flagford area of Co Roscommon have formed a committee aimed at fighting EirGrid’s plans to put in place a high capacity power connection between North Mayo and Flagford, Co Roscommon, and in particular, proposals to construct a convertor station at the Roscommon end of the project.
In the second public awareness meeting held in the Patrician Hall, Carrick-on-Shannon, a large crowd gathered to hear an outline of proposals by EirGrid to construct a convertor station near Flagford.
The convertor station will become a reality if EirGrid goes ahead with plans to underground the Grid West Project. To date six possible locations have been identified in and around the Cortober/Flagford area, but residents are vehemently opposed to locating any convertor station within these residential sites.
Concerns have been raised about the possible side effects of installing such as facility in the area with many of those present at the meeting fears over health issues for humans and livestock; the devaluation of property and noise levels coming from such a site.
Convertor stations are required to help convert electricity from alternating current to direct current and vice versa for transmitting via underground cabling.
A number of local residents, who organised the meeting last Thursday, August 14, explained that they had taken the opportunity to visit a convertor station in Co Meath.
It was recorded as being approximately 25m in height and taking up a length of around 170 yards with the width of a football pitch, all within a substantial acreage.
John Joe McDermott, Niall Murphy and Paddy Murray told the crowd that there was a very limited time in which to submit objections to this proposal with a deadline for responses to EirGrid by August 31.
A number of Roscommon county councillors, bye-election candidates and one Leitrim Councillor, Cllr Martin Kenny, were also in attendance and spoke of their support for the local community..
A proposal to set up a committee to decide how to proceed in proceed with opposition to the EirGrid plans was unanimously supported by the audience and a third public meeting is planned and further details will be made available as soon as possible.
A proposal was also made from the floor to oppose not just the convertor stations but the entire project and representatives from the West Pylon Pressure Group urged the local community to organise and join with other campaigners against the project.
They also warned residents to be vigilant and ensure that no employees of EirGrid were allowed on private lands and suggested people download and fill in letters of authority and put in place signs warning against illegal entry on their lands.
A site has also been set up www.facebook.com/pages/Save-Carrick /1463305897274098 to provide additional information