39. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his views on the concerns of communities in counties Cavan and Monaghan about the North-South interconnector particularly in respect of health, tourism, heritage, land and property devaluation; if the project will be underground; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17846/18 asked on 25 Apr 2018 - North-South Interconnector)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I propose to take Questions Nos. 39 and 40 together. 
The North South Interconnector, as proposed as an overhead line, now has full planning permission in both Ireland and Northern Ireland. 
I have listened carefully to the issues raised in relation to this project, particularly those living in close proximity to the proposed project. In February and March 2017, two motions calling for an updated independent st...

40. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment when the two independent studies into the proposed North-South interconnector will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18011/18 asked on 25 Apr 2018 - North-South Interconnector)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I propose to take Questions Nos. 39 and 40 together. 
The North South Interconnector, as proposed as an overhead line, now has full planning permission in both Ireland and Northern Ireland. 
I have listened carefully to the issues raised in relation to this project, particularly those living in close proximity to the proposed project. In February and March 2017, two motions calling for an updated independent st...

301. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment when the two independent studies into the proposed North-South Interconnector will be received; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17327/18 asked on 19 Apr 2018 - North-South Interconnector)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The North South Interconnector, as proposed as an overhead line, now has full planning permission in both Ireland and Northern Ireland.  Following engagements with representative groups and Oireachtas members in relation to the motions passed in Dáil and Seanad Éireann early last year I commissioned two independent studies into the project. The studies are designed to address the main points of the motions as ...

345. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment when he plans to publish the report he commissioned on the proposed North South interconnector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 14855/18 asked on 29 Mar 2018 - North-South Interconnector)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The North South Interconnector, as proposed as an overhead line, now has full planning permission in both Ireland and Northern Ireland.  Following engagements with representative groups and Oireachtas members in relation to the motions passed in Dáil and Seanad Éireann early last year I commissioned two independent studies into the project. The studies are designed to address the main points of the motions as ...

802. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the status of the North-South Interconnector project; if a constructive assessment has taken place in this regard; and if public concerns on this matter will be addressed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 12666/18 asked on 20 Mar 2018 - North-South Interconnector)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The North South Interconnector, as proposed as an overhead line, now has full planning permission in both Ireland and Northern Ireland. On 21 December 2016 An Bord Pleanála granted planning permission for the North-South Interconnector in Ireland. The decision concluded a lengthy planning process which included an Oral Hearing completed over eleven weeks from March to May of 2016. On 23 January 2018, full pla...

26. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment when he expects to receive the two reports that he commissioned on the proposed North-South interconnector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 7405/18 asked on 14 Feb 2018 - North-South Interconnector)

Deputy Brendan Smith: The Minister commissioned two international studies on foot of Fianna Fáil Private Members’ motions in Dáil Éireann and Seanad Éireann which were overwhelmingly endorsed by both Houses. Unfortunately, the two studies do not encompass all issues raised in those motions. At a recent meeting with representatives of Monaghan County Council attended by me and other Oireachtas Members, the Minister stated that he hoped to have the reports in February. When will they be complet...

31. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his Department’s review of the costs of undergrounding the North-South interconnector relative to the cost of overgrounding same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 7467/18 asked on 14 Feb 2018 - North-South Interconnector)

Deputy Brendan Smith: The Minister commissioned two international studies on foot of Fianna Fáil Private Members’ motions in Dáil Éireann and Seanad Éireann which were overwhelmingly endorsed by both Houses. Unfortunately, the two studies do not encompass all issues raised in those motions. At a recent meeting with representatives of Monaghan County Council attended by me and other Oireachtas Members, the Minister stated that he hoped to have the reports in February. When will they be complet...

48. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if his attention has been drawn to the concerns of communities in counties Cavan and Monaghan in regard to the North-South interconnector, in particular as regards health, land and property devaluation, tourism and heritage; his plans to underground the project; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 7465/18 asked on 14 Feb 2018 - North-South Interconnector)

Deputy Brendan Smith: The Minister commissioned two international studies on foot of Fianna Fáil Private Members’ motions in Dáil Éireann and Seanad Éireann which were overwhelmingly endorsed by both Houses. Unfortunately, the two studies do not encompass all issues raised in those motions. At a recent meeting with representatives of Monaghan County Council attended by me and other Oireachtas Members, the Minister stated that he hoped to have the reports in February. When will they be complet...

68. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he will publish the two reports he commissioned in regard to the proposed North-South interconnector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 7406/18 asked on 14 Feb 2018 - North-South Interconnector)

Deputy Brendan Smith: The Minister commissioned two international studies on foot of Fianna Fáil Private Members’ motions in Dáil Éireann and Seanad Éireann which were overwhelmingly endorsed by both Houses. Unfortunately, the two studies do not encompass all issues raised in those motions. At a recent meeting with representatives of Monaghan County Council attended by me and other Oireachtas Members, the Minister stated that he hoped to have the reports in February. When will they be complet...

89. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if no impacted landowners along the route of the North-South interconnector will have their lands accessed by EirGrid without the prior written consent of the landowner; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 7339/18 asked on 14 Feb 2018 - North-South Interconnector)

Deputy Brendan Smith: The Minister commissioned two international studies on foot of Fianna Fáil Private Members’ motions in Dáil Éireann and Seanad Éireann which were overwhelmingly endorsed by both Houses. Unfortunately, the two studies do not encompass all issues raised in those motions. At a recent meeting with representatives of Monaghan County Council attended by me and other Oireachtas Members, the Minister stated that he hoped to have the reports in February. When will they be complet...

224. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the status of the North-South interconnector project. (Question 7269/18 asked on 14 Feb 2018 - North-South Interconnector)

Deputy Brendan Smith: The Minister commissioned two international studies on foot of Fianna Fáil Private Members’ motions in Dáil Éireann and Seanad Éireann which were overwhelmingly endorsed by both Houses. Unfortunately, the two studies do not encompass all issues raised in those motions. At a recent meeting with representatives of Monaghan County Council attended by me and other Oireachtas Members, the Minister stated that he hoped to have the reports in February. When will they be complet...

511. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if An Bord Pleanála’s planning conditions in relation to the North-South interconnector have to be adhered to by Eirgrid; and if not, the penalties that will be enforced. (Question 5819/18 asked on 06 Feb 2018 - North-South Interconnector)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): An Bord Pleanála (ABP) is a statutorily independent body and decisions taken and conditions imposed by ABP are expected to be adhered to by all project promoters, including EirGrid in the case of the North South Interconnector.  
I will further refer the Deputy to the planning code as set out in the Planning and Development Acts 2000-2015 and the detail that is prescribed in the Planning and Development Regul...

259. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if the North-South interconnector is to proceed, if EirGrid will have permission to enter farmers’ lands against their will to erect the pylons; if so, the basis on which it has the right to do same; if the cost of dealing with the likely civil disobedience that will be generated from this action has been factored in; and if so, the estimated cost of same. (Question 4679/18 asked on 31 Jan 2018 - North-South Interconnector)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): On 21 December 2016 An Bord Pleanála granted planning permission for the North-South Interconnector project in Ireland. The decision concluded a lengthy planning process which included an Oral Hearing completed over eleven weeks from March to May of 2016. On 23 January 2018, full planning permission was also granted for the section of the line that lies in Northern Ireland. Following these decisions, and the co...

463. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the stage the report to examine the undergrounding of the North-South interconnector is at; when it will be complete; if it will take into consideration the value lost on property and homes; and if it will take into consideration potential health threats and damage to tourism, agriculture and enterprise in the affected locations. (Question 2793/18 asked on 23 Jan 2018 - North-South Interconnector)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The independent study to examine the technical feasibility and cost of undergrounding the North South interconnector began on 22 August 2017. The results of this study are expected in Q1 of this year.
The study will address the central point of the motions that were passed in both Houses in February and March of 2017. Certain impacts such as environmental and health concerns will not be assessed since these were...

203. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment when the report on the costing to the undergrounding of the proposed EirGrid North-South interconnector will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53364/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - North-South Interconnector)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I propose to take Questions Nos. 203 and 204 together. 
On 21 December 2016 An Bord Pleanála granted planning permission for the North-South Interconnector project in Ireland. The decision concluded a lengthy planning process which included an Oral Hearing completed over eleven weeks from March to May of 2016. 
Following the decision of An Bord Pleanála, I met with the local opposition groups and members of the...

204. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his views on the concerns of communities in counties Cavan and Monaghan in relation to the north south interconnector particularly in relation to health, land devaluation, property devaluation, tourism and heritage; if this project will be placed underground; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53383/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - North-South Interconnector)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I propose to take Questions Nos. 203 and 204 together. 
On 21 December 2016 An Bord Pleanála granted planning permission for the North-South Interconnector project in Ireland. The decision concluded a lengthy planning process which included an Oral Hearing completed over eleven weeks from March to May of 2016. 
Following the decision of An Bord Pleanála, I met with the local opposition groups and members of the...

239. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his views on correspondence from a local authority (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 45522/17 asked on 26 Oct 2017 - North-South Interconnector)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): Monaghan County Council raised this matter  earlier in the year with the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) who in turn raised it directly with me. I have informed the PAC that EirGrid is a commercial  State body charged with the implementation of Government energy policy and guarantee a secure supply of electricity via the development of the Irish electricity transmission system. This involves the maintenance, imp...

306. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment when the report will be published on the costing to the under grounding of the proposed EirGrid North-South interconnector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44666/17 asked on 24 Oct 2017 - North-South Interconnector)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): Following the motions calling for an updated independent study that were passed by Dáil Éireann and Seanad Éireann earlier this year, I have commissioned two independent studies designed to address the main points of the motions as well as key concerns expressed by parties opposed to the development of an overhead line.
The first is an independent study to examine the technical feasibility and cost of undergroun...

27. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the status of the North-South interconnector project; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41712/17 asked on 04 Oct 2017 - North-South Interconnector)

Deputy Niamh Smyth: I ask the Minister the most up-to-date status of the North-South interconnector and to make a statement on the matter.
 ...

52. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his views on the tendering process initiated by EirGrid to acquire 400 pylons for the North-South interconnector project before the independent expert group study has been completed. (Question 41886/17 asked on 04 Oct 2017 - North-South Interconnector)

Deputy Niamh Smyth: I ask the Minister the most up-to-date status of the North-South interconnector and to make a statement on the matter.
 ...

53. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he will direct EirGrid to cease the tendering process to acquire 400 pylons for the North-South interconnector project pending the outcome of the independent expert group’s study. (Question 41887/17 asked on 04 Oct 2017 - North-South Interconnector)

Deputy Niamh Smyth: I ask the Minister the most up-to-date status of the North-South interconnector and to make a statement on the matter.
 ...

501. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he will review correspondence (details supplied); his views on the concerns outlined by the group; the status of this project; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41752/17 asked on 03 Oct 2017 - North-South Interconnector)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I propose to take Questions Nos. 501 and 502 together.
The 2012 Government Policy Statement on the Strategic Importance of Transmission and Other Energy Infrastructure states that - “The Government does not seek to direct EirGrid and ESB Networks or other energy infrastructure developers to particular sites or routes or technologies.” This also holds true for operational matters such as tender processes or proje...

502. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the reason a tender process for 400 pylons commenced by a company (details supplied) was not publicised in its Autumn 2017 leaflet on the north south interconnector, in view of the fact that under the PCI process all information regarding the status of the project must be made public on an ongoing basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41766/17 asked on 03 Oct 2017 - North-South Interconnector)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I propose to take Questions Nos. 501 and 502 together.
The 2012 Government Policy Statement on the Strategic Importance of Transmission and Other Energy Infrastructure states that - “The Government does not seek to direct EirGrid and ESB Networks or other energy infrastructure developers to particular sites or routes or technologies.” This also holds true for operational matters such as tender processes or proje...

1426. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he has given further consideration to the concerns outlined by public representatives in counties Cavan, Monaghan and Meath in relation to the draft terms of reference for the independent study in relation to the proposed North-South interconnector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 36861/17 asked on 11 Sep 2017 - North-South Interconnector)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I have approved the appointment of independent experts to carry out this study and their work has commenced. The consultants are: Bo Normark (Chair), Prof. Ronnie Belmans and Prof. Keith Bell.  This Independent Expert Group is expected to deliver their final report by 31 January 2018. The terms of reference fulfil the central point of the motions that were passed in both Houses. That is to “examine the techni...

1287. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the status of the North-South interconnector project; if he will address the concerns of persons in counties Cavan, Monaghan and Meath regarding this issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 35471/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - North-South Interconnector)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): On 19 December 2016 An Bord Pleanála granted planning permission for the North-South Interconnector project in Ireland. The decision concluded a lengthy planning process which included an Oral Hearing completed over eleven weeks from March to May last year. The planning decision is currently the subject of Judicial Review proceedings. The planning process for the section of the project in Northern Ireland is ...