Vodafone removes mobile mast from Tipperary farmer's field


Vodafone has removed a mobile phone mast from the property of a Tipperary farmer who fought for years to have the 30m (98ft) tall structure pulled down.

John Ryan, from Golden, near Cashel, initially agreed to be paid €10,000 a year by Vodafone to have the "base station" on his property, but he tried to back out of the deal almost from the moment it was installed.

The electromagnetic field (EMF) emitted from the mast made Mr Ryan and his family sick, he said.

"It really affected me - headaches, pressure in the head," he explained. "My wife had severe pressure on top of the head and my grandson suffered severely - he got four to five nosebleeds a week while the mast was on."

Vodafone bowed to a high-profile campaign from Mr Ryan in 2005 and turned off the mast, but only removed it towards the end of its five-year contract with the farmer to July 31st.

The mast is a lattice steel structure with an equipment cabin. Workers came to Mr Ryan's property yesterday to take it down.

"They're taking it to Dublin, I think, but as far as I'm concerned they can take it even further than that," he said.

A Vodafone spokeswoman said the company had removed four of its masts from various locations - for reasons due to expiration of contracts, landlords' wishes or because they were no longer needed in their location.

In a statement, Vodafone said that while it sympathised with Mr Ryan "and anyone else who claims or believes themselves to suffer from high sensitivity to EMF, tests carried out by the independent regulator, ComReg, have shown that the level of emissions coming from this, and indeed every other mast in the country, are well below internationally accepted levels".

"We are confident that there is no scientific data to prove any connection between EMF and adverse health effects," added Vodafone.