Laois County Council senior planner Donal Kiely repeatedly told Ratheniska activist Peter Sweetman that the council felt they did not need to comment on Eirgrid’s planning application to An Bord Pleanála, while agreeing that a power line would cross over an SAC protected river.
At last week’s Oral Hearing into Eirgrid’s plan, Mr Sweetman also quizzed Mr Kiely as to why the council left the proposed location of the substation out of the county development plan, even though they had been given the information by Eirgrid,
Cllr Padraig Fleming interrupted to say that the councillors were threatened with legal action by Eirgrid and had to remove a requirement in the development plan to put power cables underground.
“Eirgrid took us to the High Court, the threat was to back off,” he said.
“This development does not comply with the county development plan,” said Mr Sweetman.