Sandymount residents push for taskforce on works as years of disruption expected

Residents offer to be template for co-ordination to prevent ‘never-ending cycle of piecemeal development’

Sandymount residents are seeking the urgent creation of an independently-chaired taskforce to co-ordinate utility works expected to affect the community for years to come.

Electricity operator EirGrid plans to install 50km of underground cables across Dublin in a big upgrade of the capital’s grid. Route options for the Powering Up Dublin project to connect substations at Carrickmines, Inchicore, Finglas and North Wall with the Poolbeg power station, were published on Tuesday.

Several of the potential routes include roads running through Sandymount, with Strand Road featuring in three of the 12 route options. EirGrid has initiated an eight-week public consultation process to narrow the 12 options down to five routes.

Work on the new power lines, which EirGrid said will enable more electricity generated from renewable sources to be used in the city, will begin next year and is due for completion by 2029. The installation of the cables in trenches up to 1.1m wide will involve a “considerable amount of roadworks”, the company said.


The Sandymount and Merrion Residents’ Association (Samra) had last year called for the establishment of an inter-agency taskforce to co-ordinate the development of several planned infrastructure projects along Strand Road, including a cycle path, flood defences, and sewage works.

Dublin routes

A spokesman for the association said the formation of the taskforce, which should be independently chaired, has become all the more urgent because of the likelihood of the road being dug up again for big electricity works.

“The Sandymount and Merrion Residents’ Association welcomes EirGrid’s public consultation programme ... on the upgrading of Dublin’s power grid which, when complete, will increase the city’s access to renewable energy supplies,” Samra representative Karl Anderson said.

“The project is another pressing reason why a taskforce must be urgently established to co-ordinate the required infrastructure projects planned for the Sandymount area – flood defences, sewage upgrades and off road cycle lanes – if years of chaos and duplication are to be avoided.”

Strand Road is already undergoing construction works for large scale watermains replacement which has resulted in traffic restrictions due to continue to the middle of this year. Separately Dublin City Council plans to install a cycle path, which is currently the subject of court proceedings, along the road. Flood defences and remedial sewage words are also planned. Samra said an independent taskforce, headed by someone with engineering and project management experience, is needed to avoid a “never-ending cycle of piecemeal development” in the area.

“There is an opportunity here for a blueprint to be established for how important infrastructure can be rolled out to avoid undue disruption, duplication and ballooning costs. This could then be mirrored, not only around the rest of Dublin but around the country,” Mr Anderson said.

A spokesman for EirGrid said it has been “working collaboratively with other utilities and public service providers for the Powering Up Dublin programme through the Dublin Infrastructure Forum, and this co-operation will continue throughout the programme’s duration”.

In addition it had already begun consulting with community and residents groups. “We welcome any suggestions from stakeholders on how our engagement can be further enhanced. Additionally, if residents in specific areas would like to engage further with EirGrid directly this will also be facilitated.”

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly is Dublin Editor of The Irish Times