Parents of children at the Monkstown Educate Together Primary School in south Dublin have staged a protest against plans to locate a mobile phone mast beside the school.
Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council has approved planning permission for a Vodafone Ireland phone mast to be located on a site belonging to the IADT (Institute of Art, Design and Technology) at Kill Avenue, Dun Laoghaire.
Parents of children attending the school said they have serious concerns about the effects of the mast on the health of the primary school pupils, due to its proximity on a site beside the school.
About 100 parents and children gathered at the gates of IADT Dun Laoghaire from 8am this morning with placards and banners calling for Vodafone and IADT to drop the plan.
Spokesman for parents of the children Brian Healy said the proposed mast on the roof of the IADT would be next door to the school.
Mr Healy said a range of international experts had raised concerns about non-ionising radiation associated with such masts and he said particular concern had been expressed about the exposure of children to such radiation.
Mr Healy also said maps submitted with the planning application during last year’s school holidays failed to show the location of the school, which is beside the proposed site of the mast.
He said many people were concerned that Vodafone had presented maps which failed to show the school.
“You would have to ask why the school was omitted?” he said.
Mr Healy said a letter of consultation had been received from Vodafone but a reply outlining concerns had not received a response from the company.
Parents have appealed the application to Bord Pleanala but have called on Vodafone and the IADT to withdraw the application in the children’s best interests.
In a statement Vodafone Ireland said it was “waiting the outcome of an appeal to An Bord Pleanala in relation to this site”.
The company said it had “complied with all planning and regulatory obligations in terms of this application.
“ComReg independently test our network and ensure we comply with all international standards on emissions”, the statement concluded.