A group opposed to the electricity substation development in Laois are now on day 100 of their blockade of Eirgrid from entering the site.
The Ratheniska, Timahoe, Spink (RTS) Action Group Substation Action Group, along with members of the local community, showed their opposition to the plans, which was halted last year after the local authority found it to be in breach of planning laws.
Members of the group have dedicated themselves to personally blocking the site. RTS member Colm Fingleton spoke about the group’s efforts.
‘This is shameful’
“We’d be bonkers not to protect it. Eirgrid just bully and barge their way through. This is shameful – that a community has to protect the water supply of 14,000 people.
“A lot more people should be concerned. They’re planning to put 7,000 tonnes of oil on top of the water supply. This is the supply that serves six or seven reservoirs and all the water from Stradbally to Carlow – there is no other water supply.
He also spoke about the lack of communication from Eirgrid.
“This has been going on for nine years now and we’ve never received any communication from Eirgrid. We were meant to be meeting the CEO of Eirgrid but have always been refused,” said Colm.
“It has been so badly handled by the state body that we’re dealing with. But there has been great support and people are determined now more than ever,” he added.
Contractors with the state agency were due to begin work on the development at Coolnabacca, Ratheniska which is expected to cost in the around €110 million, and secure the electricity supply to the region.
They say that there are fears of pollution to the water supply source for 10,000 people.