Ratheniska residents frustrated by county manager

RESIDENTS living in Ratheniska, Timahoe and Spink are frustrated and disappointed at County Manager Peter Carey who has refused to meet the group immediately.

RESIDENTS living in Ratheniska, Timahoe and Spink are frustrated and disappointed at County Manager Peter Carey who has refused to meet the group immediately.

After a lengthy debate at the Laois County Council’s May meeting, it was agreed that Mr Carey would only meet the residents group when more information on the substation project became available.

The decision was frustrating for John Lowry who is chairman of the Ratheniska, Timahoe, Spink Substation Action group.

“We can’t do any more if he’s not prepared to meet us. People are very disappointed and don’t know why he is so adamant about not meeting us. I would also like to correct something the county manager said in the press.

“We have only had one meeting with him in 2009, in the initial stages of the project, and that was with county councillors present. He is saying that we have had several meetings,” he said.

Mr Lowry told the Leinster Express that residents are expecting Eirgrid to make their planning application to An Bord Pleanala in June.

“We are going by what we have read in the press, other than that we have heard nothing from Eirgrid. With regards to information, we haven’t got any on what they are proposing to do and when they are proposing to do it,” he said.

Mr Lowry said that residents believe that the substation will be bigger than originally proposed.

“According to information they put in the press, the substation will accomadate 17 bays, so they are ovbiously bringing out 17 lines,” he said.

Mr Lowry also said that the group will be lodging objections when the time comes.

“We’ll be hoping to get an oral hearing when the application goes in, and we can put in objections orally. An Bord Pleanala are not taking any objections until the application is in from Eirgrid,” he said.