Working in the Community, Working for the Community

Press Statement by Seamus Healy TD 087-2802199

When the East –West Inter-Connector was being built, Minister for Health, Dr James Reilly in a letter to Minister for Energy Pat Rabitte said: “ As a doctor and Minister for Health I am worried about the health risks from such magnetic fields. He cited DCU-based public health expert, Professor Anthony Staines who had said “it is well established that the low frequency magnetic fields increase the risk of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia”. The connector through Dr Reillys constituency was always to be placed underground!! Not alone was Dr Reilly concerned about the health risks from over-ground cables he was concerned about the health risks from underground cables as well!! Many sources have highlighted the health risks from the over-ground Project(SEE Below). Some of the most scenic areas in County Tipperary are affected, including the Galtee-Knockmealdown Valley, the heritage town of Cahir, the Golden Vale into Clonmel, the Valley of Slievenamon, the Suir Valley into Faugheen and Carrick-on-Suir and on into Waterford .The Comeragh Mountain Range, with its communities, its special areas of conservation and habitats will be affected.

Thus the Carrick-on-Suir area will be affected on two sides!

The citizens in Dr Reillys constituency are rightly protected by undergrounding and shielding but the citizens of County Tipperary and other counties can live with the health risks due to over-ground cables????. This is completely unacceptable.

Now the Government has cynically postponed a decision on the Eirgrid Project until after the local Elections. This will enable Fine Gael and Labour candidates in the European and local elections to pose as champions of the opposition to the Project while tha Fine Gael-Labour Government implements it after the elections.

As I said to the Tánaiste at Leaders Questions in the Dáil : “I call on Government to suspend this project pending the outcome of a comprehensive feasibility study including cost assessment to Irish citizens (not just to Eirgrid) over 30 years, risk assessment including health issues, and environmental impact assessment, carried out independently of Eirgrid and of the Department of Communications, Energy,and Natural Resources, into the laying of these lines underground and under sea and of the carrying of these lines on pylons over-ground.”

This must be done before the local elections. Otherwise Labour and fine Gael candidates must accept responsibility for the cynical plan of the government.

All citizens should send in submissions opposing this project without delay. The closing date is Thursday Jan 7 at 5 pm

Seamus Healy TD


Health Issues
There is serious evidence that the proposed power lines can damage the health of human beings in their vicinity.

We cite the following sources:

Minister of Health, Dr James Reilly
At the time, the east-west interconnector was being built through James Reilly’s Rush-based constituency in North County Dublin and was fiercely opposed by Rush Community Council who raised concerns about an association between electromagnetic fields generated by high-voltage power cables and childhood leukaemia.

Similar concerns are being voiced by communities from Cork to Wexford and Kildare as a public consultation process continues into Eirgrid’s planned €500m corridor of pylons, Gridlink. Locals want the 400kV powerlines put underground but Eirgrid say it would add €2bn to the cost.

Dr James Reilly said that “as a doctor and Minister for Health” he was worried about the health risks from such magnetic fields. He cited DCU-based public health expert, Professor Anthony Staines who had said “it is well established that the low frequency magnetic fields increase the risk of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia”.

In the letter to Environment Minister Phil Hogan and Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte he said: “I recognise that this national infrastructure project is important but I can’t ignore the health concerns.” Irish Examiner Dec 30,2013
(North East Pylon Pressure Campaign, 2009:The chairman of the North-East Pylon Pressure campaign (NEPP), Francis Lally, asked: ‘Why has a company that has consistently opposed underground cables for the proposed North-South interconnector now filed a planning application for an underground interconnector running from north County Dublin to County Meath? There is deep anger in County Meath that EirGrid can put the east-west 400Kv interconnector underground as far as Woodland, in the county, yet when the 400Kv interconnector to the North comes out of Woodland, they want to put it overground on giant pylons.’ – See more at:

Childhood leukaemia close to high-voltage
power lines – the Geocap study, 2002–2007
C Sermage-Faure1,2, C Demoury1,2, J Rudant1,2,3, S Goujon-Bellec1,2,3, A Guyot-Goubin1,2,3, F Deschamps4,
D Hemon1,2 and J Clavel*,1,2,3
1Inserm, Center for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health (CESP), U1018, Environmental Epidemiology of Cancer
Team, Villejuif F-94807, France; 2Univ Paris-Sud, UMRS 1018, Villejuif F-94807, France; 3French National Registry of Childhood
Hematological Malignancies (NRCH), Villejuif, France and 4Re´ seau de Transport d’Electricite´ (RTE), Coeur De´ fense, 110 esplanade
du Ge´ ne´ ral de Gaulle, La Defense 92030, France

International Agency for Research on Cancer The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC; French: CIRC) is an intergovernmental agency forming part of the World Health Organisation of the United Nations.: “ELF magnetic fields are possibly carcinogenic to humans, based on consistent statistical associations of high level residential magnetic fields with a doubling of risk of childhood leukaemia.”

What an Irish expert group said in 2007(Inter-departmental Committee on the Health Effects of Electromagnetic Fields, in September 2005): “There is limited scientific evidence of an association between ELF magnetic fields and childhood leukaemia. This does not mean that ELF magnetic fields cause cancer, but the possibility cannot be excluded… Overall the evidence is considered weak… Nevertheless the evidence should not be discounted.”

What Europe says: The Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks The Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (abbreviated SCENIHR) is one of the independent scientific committees managed by theDirectorate-General for Health and Consumer Protection of the European Commission, which provide scientific advice to the Commission on issues related to consumer products says “extremely low frequency magnetic fields are a possible carcinogen” and “might contribute to an increase in childhood leukaemia”


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