Laois campaign pledges to stop €110 million electricity substation

Conor Ganly


Conor Ganly


Braving the elements members of RTS (Ratheniska, Timahoe,Spink) Action Group protesting outside Laois County Hall against the construction of an Eirgrid Substation in the Ratheniska Timahoe, Spink a

The Laois campaign group which has battled a State-owned electricity company for almost a decade has vowed to fight on against the €110 million project due to start next week.

The Ratheniska Timahoe Spink Action Group was set up in 2009 to campaign against a large electricity substation planned by Eirgrid.

Responding to the announcement that it is to procceed, they dismissed Eirgrid's claims that it will continue to consult with local people on the building of the 400kv substation at Coolnabacky near Ratheniska and Timahoe.

The company says the company says it represents a major upgrade of supply and will improve capacity and security of supply.

"It is our intention that this project will never be built," said a spokesman.

"Eirgrid has never engaged with us but have threatened and walked on us since the campaign began in 2009," he said.

The spokesperson described the project as a diaster for Laois becuase it threatens the water supply of up to 10,000 people.

He claimed that up to 600 tonnes of oil will be stored on site in Coolnabacky and a fire could devestate the aquifier which sits beneath the plant which will have power lines running to and from the site.

The RTS Action group said there would be a public meeting on Thursday, June 21 to decide on the next course of action.

An Eirgrid spokesperson said public consultation on the project began in June 2010 but declined to comment on opposition to the development.

The State-owned company said the cost estimate remains €110 million and the project is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.