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|Irish Farmers Mast misery||Ireland|
|Contamination level: Severe illness! Forced to abandon a home.|
|Author: Mairead Lavery||Created: 3 Sep 2005||Updated: 26 Mar 2006||Viewed: 6378 time(s)|
|Controversial phone mast keeps farmer off his own land||This case file has 3 entries and has been commented by 8 people|
Tipperary couple determined to block phone mast repair
|Created: 26 Mar 2006|
|John Ryan and his wife are prepared to go to jail rather than allow Vodafone on to their property to repair a broken mast
The same paper says a Tipperary farmer and his wife who claimed they suffered ill-health due to radio frequency radiation from a mobile phone mast on their lands say they are prepared to go to jail rather than allow Vodafone on to their property to repair the broken mast.
John Ryan, from Golden, claims symptoms he and his wife suffered due to the operation of the mast have ceased since the mast stopped working in November last year.
A Co Tipperary farmer and his wife who claimed they suffered ill-health due to radio frequency radiation from a mobile phone mast on their lands say they are prepared to go to jail rather than allow Vodafone on to their property to repair the broken mast.
John Ryan, from Golden, claims symptoms he and his wife, Rosie, suffered due to the operation of the mast have ceased since the mast stopped working in November last year.
Insp Paschal Feeney, of Tipperary town Garda station, confirmed they are investigating an incident of criminal damage to a mast in the Golden area.
He would not confirm a claim by the Ryans that a statement was taken from Ms Ryan on Monday and that gardaí seized a gun from their house.
The Ryans say they are puzzled as to why the gun was seized.
"We have said we will take whatever steps are necessary, even going to jail to stop Vodafone coming on the land, but using a gun was the last thing on my mind," Ms Ryan said. "We have no intention of harming anyone."
Mr Ryan said he had forgotten he even had a gun. "We never mentioned anything about a gun to anyone."
Vodafone, the company which operates the mast, said it was disappointed to learn that extensive damage was discovered to its base station in Golden.
The company said the cause of the damage is being investigated.
THE IRISH TIMES, MARCH 24, 2006
John Ryan: Phone mast wrecks my life http://omega.twoday.net/stories/232655/
Action on John Ryan case would benefit Vodafone http://omega.twoday.net/stories/554599/
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|"Phone mast 'wrecks my life'||Created: 26 Mar 2006|
|Farmer John Ryan puts a silver-plated mesh on his head when he strides off to work. And in the middle of the night he gets up and drives away from home to sleep in his 4 by 4 vehicle.
He claims a mobile phone mast on his land in Daingean, Tipperary, is giving him headaches, nosebleeds, dizzy spells and burning sensations.
Mr Ryan said: 'As soon as the mast went up I started to feel the effects. After putting serious pressure on Vodafone it was switched off for three weeks and everything was fine but the minute it was switched back on my symptoms returned.' His wife Rosie and daughter Linda get similar symptoms when working outside. Mr. Ryan wants the mast shut down and has offered to return the 10,000 euros Vodafone paid him to erect it. But the firm won't remove it unless he pays the 50,000 euros it cost to put up the mast.
Medical tests support Mr. Ryan's claim that he is being exposed to some form of microwave radiation. He wears the headnet to block out 99 per cent of microwave emissions. He said the net is 'like a pair of ladies' tights.'
Vodafone says its equipment complies with current limits on emissions set by the International Radiation Protection
They reject Mr. Ryan's claims that the mast causes his problems. Tests have been carried out at the site, but Mr. Ryan insists: 'When the tests were done you could hardly get a single bar of signal on a mobile phone even when standing right next to the mast. In dry weather, the problems are not too bad but when it rains the power on the mast is turned up to make up for the loss of the signal.'
The Irish Farmers' association is backing Mr. Ryan, and has called on Vodafone to cease transmission from the mast. A spokesman said: 'Mr Ryan is unable to stay on his farming premises. His farming is being neglected and dairy cows are going unmilked.
by Karl Hanlon. NEWS OF THE WORLD
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|John Ryans Mast Misery||Created: 3 Sep 2005|
|Last year, dairy farmers John and Rosie Ryan of Dangan, Co Tipperary, gave permission to Vodaphone to erect a telephone mast on their farm. However, the couple claim that since the mast became operational their lives have been turned upside down.
Since Vodafone erected a mast on his land, John Ryan claims he has suffered from blinding headaches and burning sensations.
These are so bad that he cannot carry out his farming activities to an optimal standard, and he can no longer sleep in his home.
The family claim these problems are directly related to emissions from the telephone mast that was erected on their farm in March 2003.
They claim they had no unusual health problems before the mast became operational.
"As soon as the mast went up in March, I started to feel the effects of it.
After putting serious pressure on Vodaphone, it was switched off for three weeks and everything was fine, but the minute it was switched back
on my symptoms returned. I'm no longer able to sleep at home and can only stay on the farm for a few hours at a time,'' said John.
Rosie Ryan said there had been a complete upheaval in family life since that mast started working. "John cannot live here.
At the moment we are trying to calve nearly 100 cows and heifers and it's impossible. I spend my nights watching the cameras, and if there's
any trouble with a cow I have to ring him to come back and deal with it,'' she said.
IFA call for mast to be shut down
In a letter to Vodaphone on 23 January, Jim Devlin, executive secretary of the IFA Industrial committee, called on the company "to cease radio signal transmissions from the mast immediately''. He stated that the IFA was very concerned for Mr Ryan's health. "He is unable to stay in his home and on
his farming premises due to the impact this transmission mast is having on his well-being. His farming is being neglected, with dairy cows going
unmilked. I must insist that you address this matter without further delay.''
In their response on 30 January, Vodaphone insisted that health and safety issues were extremely important to the company. "Vodaphone
acknowledges that some people are concerned about radio frequency electromagnetic fields, from mobile phones and their base stations.
Based on current scientific research, there is no evidence of an impact on human health when exposure levels are below internationally
recognised guidelines. Mobile phones and their base stations are designed and operated so that people are not exposed above these guideline
Neighbours back the Ryans
The health problems suffered by John Ryan are endorsed by at least six other neighbours and individuals who have cause to work on the farm.
Walter Cleary is one of these people. "I do a bit of welding for John and I was here during the summer making gates when I suddenly got this tingling feeling and a violent headache. I left the place and recovered, but as soon as I returned the headache started again. Now I'll only come here when
he is badly stuck.''
Tom Hally cuts the hedges and he also says he had to leave the farm as a result of blinding headaches.
He claims these disappeared when he went a distance from the mast, but as soon as he returned to the farm they returned.
"I didn't imagine it could happen; I don't get headaches and it makes me believe everything John, Rosie and the others are saying.''
Tim Ryan (no relation) also farms nearby and he has noticed that he is getting an increasing number of slight headaches.
"I came up here one day to help John out, and after a while I got two right darts in the head.
Then I knew exactly what John was complaining about.''
Tom Prendergast's farm lies beneath the mast and he lives within 500m of it.
He too insists that his health has suffered since the mast became operational. "I've brought ComReg (Commission for Communications Regulation)
here to test the mast three times, because since it arrived life has become unbearable. Most of my house is unusable, especially where it is in view
of the mast. We've had to screen the house with radiation-proof material in order to remain living there. I've written countless letters and made phone
calls about the problem, but no one is listening,'' he said.
Despite having the mast tested three times, Tom Prendergast is unhappy about the way the results were presented. "The first test was invalid and ComReg have agreed it was. We claim the second test was invalid because it is our belief that the power levels were turned down. We say this
because there was no mobile reception in the area at the time.'' As for the third test, which took place on 24 October last, this was called off halfway through, but ComReg stood over its findings even though it was incomplete.''
Shut it down
John Ryan wants the mast shut down and has offered to return the €10,000 he received for providing a site for it.
However, Vodaphone did not accept his offer. "This was never about money. Long before we leased the site for the mast I was worried about the health implications, but I was assured that the mast would give out no more emissions than a hand-held mobile phone.''
John Ryan said he was promised that if there was any trouble the mast would be gone within a year.
"I've now discovered that opt-out is only available to the company that owns the mast.
As it is, unless Vodaphone voluntarily removes or deactivates it I cannot have it removed for another four years.''
However, Vodaphone said that John Ryan had approached them to secure the company as a tenant on his site.
"Negotiations were entered into and independent legal advice was sought and received by Mr Ryan.
After a period of weeks a contract was negotiated between the parties.
'' Should the mast be decommissioned, Vodaphone estimate it would cost them approximately €50,000.
Both John Ryan and Tom Prendergast feel isolated by the phone company.
"They keep telling us it's the same mast as all the others around the country and that there are no complaints about them.
They tell us they are working within the WHO guidelines, but as far as we are concerned that is all theory.
We are left with the reality,'' said Tom Prendergast.
ComReg is the regulatory body charged with overseeing the telecoms industry in Ireland.
Currently it is conducting a comprehensive monitoring programme at 400 mast sites throughout the country.
ComReg has hired Masons Communications Ltd to conduct the measurements. In a statement, it said:
"As part of this work, the Dangan site was measured.
Measurements there indicate emission levels well within the International guideline limits set down by ICNIRP - the International Commission on
Non-Ionising Radiation Protection.
This is the first time ComReg has conducted such an extensive survey.
In previous years they have audited the procedures adopted by licensees to ensure compliance to the ICNIRP guideline limits and made
measurements at 30 sites on each occasion. In addition, 40 people contacted us regarding 48 sites.
They are currently been surveyed and so far they have all complied.
With regard to the issue of health, ComReg would like to clarify that it does not have any remit or expertise in this area.
In this regard, it looks to national, international and EU policy for guidance. Currently the guideline limits adopted are the ICNIRP guideline limits
and these are used internationally.''
Additional statement by Vodaphone
"Vodaphone Ireland meets ICNIRP radio frequency exposure guidelines in the rollout of its mobile phone network.
Emissions are independently monitored by ComReg, and Vodaphone's 100% record in this regard can be verified by the Commission.
In order to provide a high level of protection for the general public, standards for limiting exposure to radio frequency fields have been
developed, which incorporate substantial safety margins. Indeed, in practice, levels many times below the ICNIRP guidelines normally exist through
the adoption of best contemporary practice, including not raising signal strengths beyond those necessary to achieve service objectives.
In the case of Mr Ryan, the signal strength in our infrastructure has been reduced, and is currently operating at a below-optimum level. Vodaphone encourages and supports open, independent, quality scientific research, reviews the results of research on radio frequency fields being performed throughout the world and takes the advice of recognised expert scientific review panels and health authorities for assessments on mobile phone technology and health.
From 1999 until 2007, Vodaphone have committed over €8million to research programmes on radio frequency fields and projects.
Where research funding is involved, important measures have been implemented to ensure the complete independence of this research.''
Mairead Lavery reports
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