The Chairperson of ICMSA Farm Services & Environment Committee, Patrick Rohan, has confirmed that following an exchange of letters with Eirgrid on the subject of the numerous complaints made to his association about the disturbance caused to cattle by the aerial surveys carried out by ESB Networks (ESBN) on behalf of Eirgrid, the company has agreed to amend its system of prior notification to ICMSA members so as to facilitate the movement of cattle away from the sites containing the Overhead Power Lines being surveyed.
“ICMSA asked Eirgrid to improve communications with the landowners concerned by contacting them by either phone or text a day in advance of the helicopter flights and thus facilitating the relocation of cattle away from the fields in the flight-path of the ESBN helicopters. I am happy to confirm that Eirgrid have agreed with our suggestion and ESBN will now be asked by Eirgrid to make arrangements to add the names of ICMSA members to the existing list of landowners who are given advance notice of the helipatrols. The aerial survey generally occurs over one week in both February and December and while we’re very cognisant of its safety role, there is no doubt that the flights were causing a great deal of avoidable distress to the herds immediately below. ICMSA notes the response made by Eirgrid here and will continue to press that company to demonstrate the highest levels of sensitivity and congnisance to the farmers on whose co-operation they depend. We’ll continue to watch the situation extremely closely”, said the well know Annascaul farmer.