Fáilte Ireland raises concerns over impact of pylons on tourism
Agency says it is ‘vital that full consideration of potential visual impacts’ be considered
Pylons in Kildare. The €500 million EirGrid project involves installing 200km of high-voltage cables across Cork, Limerick, Tipperary, Waterford, Wexford, Kilkenny, Carlow, Laois, Wicklow and Kildare. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien
State tourism body Fáilte Ireland is concerned at the impact on Ireland’s landscape of plans to install 750 large pylons across 10 counties.
In a submission to EirGrid on the plans earlier this week it said the country’s landscape has been the cornerstone of international tourism marketing campaigns for decades.
“International visitors to Ireland consistently rate scenery as an important reason for their trip. Therefore as the Irish landscape is one of the primary reasons for visiting the country, it is essential that the quality, character and distinctiveness of this valuable resource be protected,” it said.
“It is vital also that a full and comprehensive consideration of the potential visual and landscape impacts be carried out and taken into consideration as part of the route corridor selection process,” it added. It argued the potential impacts on tourism “have not yet been rigorously assessed”.
Groups opposed to the project have pointed to alleged health risks, visual impact, the impact on tourism and the effect on property prices.
Fáilte Ireland commissioned a report from consultants Brady Shipman Martin that formed the basis of its submission dated January 7th.
The report criticises EirGrid’s route assessments for insufficiently considering the landscape that underpins tourism. It also says many tourist elements appear not to have been considered, including walks, forests and golf courses.