Lobby groups calls for 'balanced debate' on pylons

The Council for the West, a lobby group promoting business and development here, is asking people to carefully consider the benefits of the proposed €240m Grid West project for the west of Ireland.

The organisation is calling for “balanced debate” on the subject.

“The council fully respects the right of people to make their views known. However, the council also urges people to think through the possible advantages,” said Sean Hannick, chairman of the Council for the West.

He said the project is crucial to attract industry to Mayo and parts of Sligo, Roscommon and Leitrim.

“Over the past 15 years, we have held several meetings with the Industrial Development Authority (IDA ) and they have repeatedly told us that, because of insufficient electrical power, they cannot even show parts of the west to any major energy-using industry,” he explained.

“That is a real problem for the west and the Grid West plan to bring the HV power lines to the region will hopefully resolve the problem. We need these power lines in order to attract industry to generate jobs for our families. The vast majority of people in these western counties would prefer to see our family members employed locally rather than see them going off to Canada, Australia, the UK, and many other parts of the world.”

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