That planning permission was granted by a public servant in Northern Ireland. Unfortunately, there is no political system in place there due to the intransigence of the Democratic Unionist Party, DUP, and Sinn Féin.
This is not a matter of opposition to the development of the all-Ireland electricity market, far from it. The landowners and people living in those communities, who are very concerned about the proposal, are not opposed to the development of the North-South interconnector. They want it developed, if it is necessary, on the basis that the transmission cables will be put underground and not overground where they will be a blight on the countryside and hinder development in the years to come for those communities, in a large part of the country, North and South.
EirGrid has continued to refuse to listen to the concerns of public representatives in those counties and to communities. People are not opposed to a North-South interconnector, provided those transmission cables are put underground, as is happening in major projects in many other countries in Europe. It is disingenuous for any Minister or any statutory agency to try to suggest that people opposed to the North-South interconnector proposal are opposed to the North-South electricity market. We welcome all-Ireland economic developments.