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2/111/2008 ESB to build Under-harbour Route - After All That !!!!!!

It turns out that 14 years after the Cobh Anti-Pylon Representative Group - CARA was formed, the ESB has seen the light and found the technology (which incidentally was shown to them way back in the early days of the campaign) to construct an under-harbour cable going from Aghada to Raffeen near Ringaskiddy. You can see details of the Route on their website Here .

Here to remind everyone is the original illustrated proposal by CARA and R.W.Beck, of the underwater cable route (shown in pink) which ESB said was impossible and not cost effective ... blah blah blah ... you know the story ...

and here is the 'New' route from ESB/Eirgrid's website

There are so many questions here. But just one or two of them would be like this ....

(1) Why did they not do this in the first place and save themselves, the country and the people of Cork Harbour wasting 14 years and so much money ?

(2) Why is it possible now and it wasn't 3 years ago ?

(3) Why did they not build it when the Harbour needed it ? when Irish Steel/ISPAT was open, when IFI was open, when Cork port was moving to Ringaskiddy, when the harbour area needed it. Now all those reasons no longer exist. The country is in recesssion. They decide to built it ???

(4) Did they intend to do it all along, but just could not be seen to give into a campaign group ?

Wow ... now there's a thought !!!!

So many questions .... none of which will ever be answered !!

You see there always was an alternative, this is probably why the Cobh Anti Pylon Campaign was so successful. It is just a shame that it took so long for common sense to prevail.

If we ever hear anything from Eirgrid/ESB or CARA we will post it here.

Cobh Anti Pylon

P.S. The article below really was written in January 2007 !!!


5/1/07 ESB To build plant in Aghada

The news today says that ESB has to build a power generating station in Aghada, sounds nice, but the Irish Government (Europe) says that they have to sell all of the power from it to Rival power suppliers, To anybody from baby infants upwards can see the flaw here, i.e. why not make the rivals build the plant. If ESB is so dominant, why just not split what is there at present.?? We all know that this news is nothing new, Europe is sueing Ireland for letting ESB have a monopoloy. The powers in the ESB have known that this was coming for years.

Why is this update here at all ?? ...

OK listen up ...

300m Euro power plant to be built in Aghada .. OK (5/1/07)

Where does the power go ... yes it it has to go back into the National Grid. fine

But the only lines that are running from Aghada at present are make-shift, double-up, hi-tec meccanno lines here and there using a system that is almost 100 years old. These lines were quite adequate when ESB had the total run of things.

BUT now, because the bosses are over there, ESB has new bosses, and IRL GOV has new bosses,EUROPE EUROPE EUROPE, so NEW RULES, nobody here really has any say.

OK my bottom line ... There is only 1 way to get power from Aghada to the rest of the world...

Yes you guessed it people.. under the harbour the way we said to do it in the first place .

It looks like the the pink line (Our Original Proposal) is the only possible route if a major power plant is built in Aghada.

Cobh Anti Pylon

(Not CARA)

Read more here





7/6/05 - Pylon Construction is well under way.

Well as most people living in Cobh know, ESB has started construction of its controversial pylons throughout Cobh. To most people this looks like "the pylons" have gone ahead. That is true but fortunatley, only a fraction of the original 84 structures (probably 4). One thing that is upsetting about these (besides the fact that they are there at all) is the size of them, for instance the one which is being built at rushbrooke links is going to be a monster, it will be the same size as those which span the river. Unfortunately this is the only part of the line which the ESB would not compromise on. Other than this section of the line, it is mostly being put underground or underwater. As we have said before, all the talking is done, so now its just a case of seeing if ESB will lve up to their promise of landscaping etc.

In the mean time the struugle to prove that there is a link between Childhood Leukemia and overhead lines goes on. You can read more about latest report here

'till next time.


15/7/04 - Public Meeting Report

The meeting started off with a somewhat negative mood, in that CARA was targeted as having sold out the community, however once the whole situation was explained and all the mis-information was rectified things calmed down to a reasonable debate.

CARA's job as a negotiating body has been done and a compromise solution has been reached.

During the meeting, lawyers and other people who over the years through their respective professions have been involved in negotiations of various sorts made the point that this is an unbelievable distance to have brought any negotiation with a semi-state body like ESB, in light of the fact that ESB never talk to anybody, they just build !

There were a lot of questions raised regarding the proposed route, including, why the last leg of the route cannot also be undergrounded.. This again comes down to cost, it would cost an extra 10 million to do this.

Obviousely there were many more questions asked and answered but we cannot cover them all here.

One particular point came from this meeting and that is, there still seem to be problems with the way ESB deals with the public and affected parties, with regards to lack of information, vagueness about particulars and conflicting information from different representatives who have met residents. To those who have read theses pages over the years this is nothing unusual, however one would think at this stage that ESB would have refined this in order to avoid more problems.

This however now gives CARA a new role and that is to be there for those still affected by the new route. To be there when ESB reps call to residents. To ask the relevant questions. To demand proper explanations. To insist on the finer details. To insist on total transparency. Because lets face it CARA know how ESB ticks and can see past the forked tounged PR sales chit-chat, a vital ingredient in ensuring that this situation is brought to a final and all-round satisfactory conclusion for everybody involved.

It must be said here that were it not for CARA, i.e. Pat Gill, David Bird, Willie Cunningham, JJ Kett, John Ahern, Tom Lynch (IEM), Anne Aherne, (but to name a few, CARA actually consists of over 20 members, each representing a different community, business sector or anti pylon group), this whole deal would not have been agreed. CARA members gave up so much to bring this dispute to a resolution. Their personal time, jobs and probably family lives have been affected by this whole campaign. Hopefully now that this is all behind them they can get back to normal.

This is not an ideal solution by any means, it's not the cheapest, it's not logical, and it still affects people, however it is "the best" we are going to get. (consider the alternative). There are still wrinkles that have to be ironed out and we wish CARA and the affected residents all the best with future negotiations over the next few weeks before construction begins.

A BIG thank you to CARA

It must be said here that

Comments within these pages, unless quoted, do not come from CARA......

The way that ESB deal with conflict can only be described as disgraceful, this resolution looked at from outside the box is a political solution, it is going to cost more to implement this compromise than it would have to put it under the harbour, basically ESB lost this one, but the people also lost.

CARA were given a mandate from the people to negotiate a deal and they did. It will probably never be known what hoops CARA went through to bring this compromise to the table, however CARA was formed by the people for the people. PEOPLE POWER won the day and only for CARA exhausting every possible avenue and "tormenting" every person at every level of government and business and going through every court in the land this situation would not have been arrived at. Mary O'Rourke has to be mentioned here because if it was not for her intervention after being lobbied by the people at Cobh Heritage Centre, the Review group would not have been formed and through her contacts, i.e Phil Flynn being invited on board as an interim mediator (later to become Chairman) the whole thing would still be where it was three years ago (deadlock) or the original pylons would have been built a long time ago.

We would like to thank everybody from all over the world who are involved in similar contflicts who have kept in contact with us over the years. Special thanks to Dr. Henshaw of Bristol University whos research into the health effects of EMF radiation is groundbreaking. R.W.Becks of Seattle whos report was totally unbiased and pristine in it's research and presentation. To all those who have sent emails of support and enquiries, linked to us, to those who visited these pages in search of updates and information. We hope that you all derived something from these pages. It has been an intriguing experience from our point of view, learning from your expeiences and in some cases using them to influence the way this situation has be resolved. There is one group of people who we must not forget - the "ECO's" those eco-activists who came to Cork by request and in a peacefull way really made their presence felt. We hope that you all are well. Thank you also to the the individuals who advertise on who keep these pages ad-free and online.

Obviously we cannot thank everbody involved here because there have been so many. So in an all encompassing appreciation of your work and interaction ...

!!! THANK YOU !!!

We will be watching the individual talks between ESB and residents under a microscope and we will post details here. We are not happy with the compromise but we do see it as an end to a conflict.

So that seems to be it. We hope to bring you an official satement from CARA in the next few days.

stay tuned.

Cobh Anti-Pylon.













Updated 6/7/04 - The End is Nigh.

Well folks this is the day we have all been working towards. 10 years of weekly and daily negotiations, protests, news conferences, TV reports, sleepless nights, etc. are coming to an end.

Approximately 3 years ago a reveiew group consisting of Chairman Phil Flynn and 2 CARA representatives and 2 ESB Representatives (Revicw Board) was set up to study the stand-off between Cork Harbour residents, farmers, landowners, etc . and ESB. You can read full details of this group elsewhere on these pages.

The Review Board have met almost weekly sometimes daily to resolve this situation. Through heavy negotiaions, backwarding and forwarding over different solutions a route agreeable to both sides has now been reached.

Remember the Original Proposed route - consisted of the erection of 84 pylons sharting at Aghada and going in a ring formation through Saleen, onto Great Island, over the Island, exiting at Rushbrooke, over the River Lee, into Monkstown and finally down to the sub-station at Rafeen.

Cobh Anti-Pylon Group and all other interested parties were campaigning for an under harbour crossing.

This was always rejected by ESB on a cost basis.

Now finally a compromise - Which will consist of an Underharbour cable from Aghada to The front of Great Island (probably Cuskinny), then Underground along the Tay Road to Cow Cross substation, where it will come above ground again. Three new pylons will have to be built in this area to accommodate the lines continuation to Rushbrooke. This new line will be a 220kV line which means that existing 10 kV lines already along the route will be removed. Approx 26 poles in the Tay Road area will be removed. Thus cleaning up what at the moment could only be described as a tangled mess.

So what does this mean for residents along the route.
Well because of the Underharbour crossing, no new pylons will be build in Aghada, Saleen or from there to Great Island or from there to Cobh Cross. Whereas originally there would have been up to 60 new pylons erected in those areas.

From Cuskinny to Cow Cross, Pylon and pole removal and general tidying up.

From Cow Cross to Rushbrooke, A new substation will be buiilt at cow cross to allow the connection of the underground cables to be brought overground again. Three new pylons will be built to take the 220kV lines. Pylons will be moved or removed, plus a big pole-tidying up operation. Where the new pylons and substation are to be built, a major landscaping and concealing will be undertaken to minimise any visual impact these alterations may have.

The reason for not undergrounding the line completely from Cuskinny to Rushbrooke is down to excessive cost. The has been thouroughly investigated and this has been found to be the case.

The line will then cross the River Lee at Rushbrooke using exisiting lines (installed over 20 years ago). Then once again on the Monkstown to Rafeen side, pylons repositioning, etc will take place.

All of these changes have been reviewed in most cases by Landowners, farmers, residents, etc.

This is of course a compromise and so by definition - Everybody gets something, but nobody gets everything. i.e. there are still people who will be affected by this new route. But as can be seen from this solution. It is 100's of times better than the Original proposal.

This compromise has been reviewed by, CARA, Cobh Antipylon Group, Farmers Assoc, Saleen Residents Assoc, Aghada Residents Assoc, Monkstown Residents Assoc, Cork IDA, Cork Chamber of Commerce, Cobh Chamber of Commerce, Cobh Tourism, plus many more interested groups.

No doubt there will be some people who disagree with this. The bottom line is, this is a final solution to this long running conflict. Negotiations are over. There is still a company Eirgrid, standing on the sidelines, just waiting for this to collapse, in which case they will build the original proposed 84 pylons without talking to anyone. This is not a threat. It is a fact.

On a broader scale. This compromise will affect all of Ireland. Hopefully this will change the way ESB do business, i.e. proper consultation will be undertaken in future in order to prevent a similar stand-off to Cork Harbour arising again.

So thats it for now folks.

in Commodore Hotel, Cobh.
on Thurs 15th July in Doyle Room at 8.00pm

The site is run by Cobh Anti-Pylon Group,
Therefore comments within these pages, unless quoted, do not come from CARA......


Update 16/01/04 - ESB rejects RW Becks Report


Once again we apologise for the gaps in updating these pages, this is due to the ongoing delegations between ESB and CARA and tha lack of information available from those groups.

The final result of this situation is as yet very much still uncertain.

In the last 10 months, CARA have been in negotiations with ESB with a view to resolving this situation.
ESB seems at this stage to also be looking for a compromise.

However .... The ESB is adamant that it is going to continue (according to planning) to go ahead with its plan to build the 220kV line, however, the powers that be (we hear) do not want to see the kind of previous problems highlighted on this site re-ocurring so therefore everything is being done to find a compromise.

But Cobh Anti Pylon Group is also adamant that ESB's proposed 220kV overland plan is flawed from ground level up and not viable, (see below).

Therefore over the last few months, Cobh Anti Pylon Group have been contacting networked members, landowners and other interested groups on a pre-lim basis, in preparation for future happenings.

Becuase talks between CARA and ESB are ongoing we cannot bring you any more information at this stage.

But subscribe to our newsletter and stay upto date

Thanks for taking the time

Cobh Anti Pylon Group

The site is run by Cobh Anti-Pylon Group,
T herefore comments within these pages, unless quoted, do not come from CARA......


Update 14/3/03 - Independent report released


The final report has now been produced by the independent review company. This report has now been digested and reviewed by CARA and ESB and the Review Board.
The Technicahal Feasibility Study is an unequivical Endorsement of any route option involving the use of submarine 220kV cable.

This is a Technical Review ...

The one thing to remember about this report is that a decision from this report will include other matters of public concern, such as property values and other environmental health issues and also that other issues such as magnetic fields in urban or developed areas will be seperately addressed.

At the moment, th full report is being converted to PDF Format for download. However you can download a summary of RW Becks report here you will need Microsoft word for this.

Thanks for taking the time

Cobh Anti Pylon Group

The site is run by Cobh Anti-Pylon Group,
therefore comments within these pages, unless quoted, do not come from CARA......



Do You want To Live Under This ??

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As soon as an official statement is available from CARA you will see it here first.




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