Eirgrid appears to be pursuing an underground option for its planned North Connacht 110kV power line.

The proposed power line will run from Ballina to Ballaghaderreen, and has been designed to cater for increased renewable energy capacity in the region into the future, and will also secure the power supply into the north Mayo region.

Extensive public consultation has been carried out in relation to the route proposals for the project which consisted of seven options – four overhead line designs, and three underground cable options.

There has been widespread opposition to the overhead line proposals in particular, in the Attymass area where a local opposition group was established highlighting concerns over the impact of overhead lines held up on large mast structures on the local environment.

Fine Gael councillor John O’Hara told Midwest News this morning that EirGrid has selected an underground cable option for the North Connacht 110kV project and will now seek planning permission for that option.

It will be the longest underground line in Ireland, at approximately 60 km in length, and councillor O’Hara believes it will be a huge asset for the region.

He says the news is very welcome and has congratulated Eirgrid for listening to the concerns of communities and providing an extensive public consultation period on the proposals.

Cllr O’Hara has been speaking to Midwest News Editor Teresa O’Malley about the development and the relief for the community of Attymass..