The delivery of significant infrastructure, whether its energy, water, roads, IT, faces considerable challenges, particularly to communities who may have to shoulder the inconvenience of living with huge physical structures in their area. Concerns range from the lack of aesthetic design to fears that health and other well being may be affected. But what really angers communities is that no one bothered to talk to them.
Yet the need for such infrastructure is beyond question. In rural Ireland economic development is essential to the keeping alive of communities and in particular the stabilisation of communities. Already we are witnessing the difficulties faced by rural communities in terms of unemployment, loss of services and the challenges faced by various environmental requirements. The increasing older population needing support on a national basis is also reflected in rural areas and cannot be ignored.
Often the communication process between rural communities and the entity charged with planning new infrastructure is poor or nonexistent. Simple questions are not answered and communities are left with an array of fears that need to be heard.
Irish Rural Link has continually challenged government, private companies and other agencies that they cannot ignore talking to people affected by their plans. We have called on them to meet with people and explain their proposals and then listen to the concerns raised and the potential solutions.
It is in this context IRL is pleased to host three community seminars on the transmission of electricity in Ireland. We are also pleased that Eirgrid who have responsibility of delivering the national Grid will be involved at these events, mainly to hear what the public think and ideas that can ensure that necessary infrastructure is managed without causing unnecessary hardship for people living nearby.
To start the ball rolling seminars on the subject of electricity transmission are scheduled for:
Radisson Blu Hotel, Sligo Town on the 12th May 2015 at 11.00am- 3.30pm;
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Dundalk on the 15th May 2015 at 2.00pm -5.30pm.
A Cork date to be confirmed.
All are welcome.