Cobh pylon protest
About 300 mothers and children took a protest letter to the ESB offices in Cork last Friday, 18 August. The Cobh people are protesting the ESB's decision to construct a 24-kilometer, 220 KV power line on pylons across their island, instead of running the cable four kilometers under the sea.
Originally, Cork County Council had given the ESB planning permission for their pylon project back in February 1997, but in March last year, following concerted protests by Cobh residents fearful of the health effects of the overhead cables, the council rescinded permission by 31 votes to 4. The ESB took the County Council to the High Court and won.
Bernard O'Reilly, Publicity officer for the ESB, says that ``an undersea cable is not an option given that ships, sometimes over 90,000 tons with large anchors, move about through this narrow channel''. Ed Mansworth of The Cork Harbour Anti-Pylon Residents Association (CARA) points out that the nearest shipping anchorage is far away from where the cabling would go and represents no danger whatsoever to the cabling on the sea floor.
``The ESB,'' he says, ``have to put up 84 pylons. Each one will be a battle. We will do whatever it takes to save our island, whatever it takes to get the ESB to reverse its undemocratic decision. It is an outrageous position where the ESB, accountable to no one, can overturn the views of the elected councillors.''