Government to review case for North/South underground electricty interconnector

The government is to review the case for, and the cost of, undergrounding, a North / South electricity interconnector.

An international expert commission will be established, with a view to reporting back, within 6 months.

Last October, Eirgrid had to withdraw a planning application for pylons along the route from Meath to the border with Tyrone because consultants got the height of pylons wrong.

Last year, Eirgrid had to withdraw a planning application for the €200 million interconnector project after it emerged the planning documents had the wrong pylon heights.

A review found the incorrect information was supplied by ESB International, a firm that is owned by the ESB.

A series of pre-election meetings held by campaigners in the North East before February's election heard pledges from all parties supporting the undergrounding of the lines.

Now, the option of undergrounding the power lines between counties Meath and Tyrone is to be assessed, with Energy and Natural Resources Minister Pat Rabitte saying he will finalise terms of reference and announce the composition of the three person expert Commission within the next few days.