1 May 2001
MacManus challenges Esat/Meteor claim of `last resort' with mountain Road mast in Tubbercurry
Sinn Fein Councillor Sean MacManus has written to mobile phone operators ESAT and Meteor requesting that they make available to the public all evidence relating to their efforts to find an alternative and suitable location to the ESB sub-station on Mountain Road in Tubbercurry at which to erect a mobile phone mast.
Cllr. MacManus, the Mayor of Sligo, was reacting to claims by the ESB that `ESAT Digifone and Meteor have declared ESB's substation site as a site of last resort in Tobercurry.' The information was contained in a response dated April 12th from Seamus Hughes, the Operations Manager of ESB Telecoms, to correspondence from Alderman MacManus who had written to the ESB seeking that they withdraw their planning application on behalf of ESAT and Meteor.
``The Department of the Environment's own guidelines in relation to the erection of mobile phone masts and related antennae specify that any proposal to erect a mast in an area similar to that proposed on the Mountain Road should only be considered if the site is a site of last resort and that they have exhausted all possible sites that would actually be suitable for this mast. This would include sharing masts that are currently in use by other phone companies.
``At present, Eircell have a phone mast in operation alongside the Tubbercurry bypass and it will be interesting to see what efforts were made to have this mast used to facilitate Esat and Meteor as opposed to the Mountain Road site.''
``The ESB have claimed in a letter from their Operations Manager to myself that the substation where this mast is to be erected is such a `site of last resort'. If this is indeed the case, then I am sure that both ESAT and Meteor will therefore now make available to the public at large all evidence of their efforts to secure a suitable site before opting for the ESB substation site. If this indeed a `site of last resort' as claimed, then their efforts at obtaining other sites must have been quite substantial and I look forward to all this information being made available at the earliest opportunity.''
``I have now written to ESAT and Meteor asking them to provide me with all this information and to make it available to the public and particularly to the residents of Tubbercurry straight away. They should have no hesitation in doing so if they have nothing to hide.'' ENDS
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