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Proposed Eir mast in Balla refused planning permission
Ireland Created: 15 Aug 2021
PLANS by Eir to erect a telecommunications mast in Balla have been rejected by Mayo County Council.

The company sought permission to erect a 21m high monopole telecommunications support structure together with antennas, dishes and associated equipment at the eir exchange, at the rear of Balla Garda Station, on Main Street.

Council planners found that the development would have a negative visual impact on the setting associated with St. Cronan's Catholic Church, which is listed on the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

It would interfere with the character of the landscape, which it is necessary to preserve, and would be contrary to the proper planning and development of the area.

A number of observations were submitted to the council raising concerns relating to health, visual impact and the proposed location being in close proximity of houses, schools, the church and playgrounds.

Another observation questioned the lack of fibre optic cable in Balla and whether this proposal would supersede the need for the roll-out of faster broadband infrastructure.

In its submissions to the council, Eir said the greater Balla area is a known coverage weak spot.

Unlike most towns and villages there is no sizeable existing telecommunications structure and identifiable garda station mast, Eir mast or other operator mast in Balla which would have historically attracted mobile phone operators.

An existing timber pole infrastructure at the rear of the garda station was outdated, one dimensional and limited in functionality and could not support Eir in achieving its coverage objectives in Balla.

Eir doesn't currently transmit from its exchange at the rear of the station and its coverage is deficient.

The new structure they proposed would significantly improve its next generation services for the benefit of local residents.

Coverage, they noted, has long been a source of complaint among local businesses and residents.

Ballyglass appeal

Meanwhile, a grant of permission for a mast in the village of Ballyglass has been appealed to An Bord Pleanála.

The council gave the green light to Eircom for a 21-metre high structure.

However, three parties have lodged an appeal with An Bord Pleanála against that decision, including the local community council.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Connaught Telegraph, 14 Aug 2021

Relief in Tipperary village as council rejects planning application for phone mast
Ireland Created: 28 Jul 2021
Residents campaigning against the erection of a 15m high telecommunications mast in the heart of New Inn village have achieved a significant victory with Tipperary County Council refusing planning permission for the structure.

Eir’s planning application seeking to erect the mast at the eir exchange building at Graigue, New Inn was rejected by the council’s planners on July 8 because of the negative visual impact it would have on New Inn village and its visual amenities.

APPEAL

The mobile phone and broadband service company has up to four weeks from the date of the council’s decision to lodge an appeal with An Bord Pleanála.

Meanwhile, the council has deferred its decision on a similar application by eir to erect an 18m telecommunications mast at the eir exchange building at Kilcooley Way, Gortnahoe.

Local residents are also opposed to this application.
The local authority requested eir to supply further information on the proposed development last week and the company has six months to do this.

Eir’s controversial New Inn planning application seeking permission for a 15m “monopole telecommunications structure with antennae, dishes and associated equipment” attracted 64 submissions/objections, mostly from local residents concerned its location was too close to New Inn’s homes, businesses and national schools.
Independent TD Mattie McGrath, local councillors Andy Moloney (Ind), Máirín McGrath (Ind) and Michael Fitzgerald (FG) and New Inn Tidy Towns committee were also among the objectors.
Cathy Moloney is one of the New Inn residents relieved at the council’s decision. She and her husband Gerard live next door to New Inn’s eir exchange.

She said they were delighted with the council’s decision but pointed out it was just the first step in stopping the mast and they are now waiting to see if eir will lodge an appeal.
“It (the mast) would impact on us very much if it went ahead. I could put my hand out the door of my house and touch the site.
“It’s really up on top of us here. It would have been a disaster. They were going to put an eight foot high fence around the mast. It would have looked awful.

“Thank God the council has refused permission.
“We are happy at the moment and hopefully we will stay that way.”

Tipperary County Council refused planning permission because it deemed the mast would be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area and would contravene the South Tipperary County Development Plan 2009 and the 1996 Guidelines for Planning Authorities on Telecommunications, Antennae & Support Structures.
Outlining the reasons for the refusal, the council’s acting Director of Planning & Water Services Eamon Lonergan explained that under the Development Plan and guidelines, proposals for telecommunications masts will be facilitated where it is established there is “no significant adverse impact on the surrounding areas and the receiving environment”.
He said the application site for this telecommunications structure was within New Inn village, adjoining residential areas, amenity areas and in close proximity to schools, churches and community buildings.
“The proposed development would form a visually prominent and highly visible feature within New Inn and would negatively impact on the visual amenities and character of the settlement,” he outlined.
Mr Lonergan also said the council was not satisfied, having regard to the limitations in information on other existing sites considered, that no other location was identified that would provide adequate telecommunication.
Eir sought planning permission for the mast to enable it to significantly improve its mobile phone and broadband service provision to New Inn and to facilitate “site sharing” with third party operators from within its New Inn telecommunications exchange.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Tipperary Live, Aileen Hahesy, 22 Jul 2021

Telecoms offering 'much lower' payment rates for masts
Ireland Created: 17 Jun 2020
Northern Irish farmers have raised concerns over the decline in payment rates for mobile phone masts, the Ulster Farmers Union has said.

Farmers in Northern Ireland were dealing with the impact of the new Electronic Communications Code, the union explained.

It said mobile phone operators were offering 'much lower' payment rates for mobile phone masts.

This, in turn, was putting farmers 'under pressure' to agree to new contracts, the UFU added.

A meeting to address members concerns was scheduled for 19 March but had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The UFU said it would now be holding this meeting via teleconference for union members on Tuesday 30 June.

Deputy president, Victor Chestnutt will chair the teleconference which will include presentations and contributions by guest speakers Kate Russell of the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers (CAAV) and Scott Edmondson director of Country Estates.

The teleconference will address farmers' concerns regarding the Electronic Communications Code and mobile phone mast agreements.

It will also provide answers to questions and concerns surrounding the implications of the new code.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Farming UK, 16 Jun 2020

State nets €10m from mobile phone operators’ use of masts on public buildings
Ireland Created: 5 Jun 2020
Garda stations providing most facilities with Fitzgibbon St station in Dublin alone generating €185k since 2018.

The State has earned almost €10 million in income from mobile phone operators for the use of masts on Garda stations and other public buildings.

Since 2018 the masts have generated €9,786,707 for State coffers from 162 Garda stations and 18 other buildings.

Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy said it is ironic that the biggest income from a single station is from Fitzgibbon Street station in Dublin’s north inner city “which apart from a very small section, isn’t functioning as a Garda station. While it’s closed it’s still earning an income because of the very large mast at the back of the station”.

Mobile phone mast income from the station is worth €185,000 since the start of 2018. Ms Murphy said that Stepaside station in south Dublin was closed for a number of years but continued to generate income, worth over €169,000 since 2018.

“The reason they don’t require planning permission is because they are Garda stations but if they’re functioning without that, that is an issue in its own right.”

The information on income for the State was supplied in response to a parliamentary question to Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe.

Mr Donohoe said the Commissioners of Public Works in Ireland grant licences to mobile network operators to install telecommunications equipment on State property, primarily Garda telecommunication structures and the rooftops of other OPW buildings. A standard licence agreement sets out the terms and conditions under which mobile phone operators are permitted to locate on State property.

Stations in the Dublin area generated most income with Fitzgibbon Street and Stepaside followed by Mountjoy station in the north inner city where mast income was worth €167,576 since 2108. Balbriggan station earned €148,872 and Lucan Garda station mast income was valued at €164,000.
Smaller towns

Incomes decreased the more rural the station and a number of smaller towns and villages generated annual incomes of around €7,000.

Ms Murphy acknowledged that this was “good income coming into the State and I think that goes directly to the OPW rather than going into the Garda coffers – but it is income on foot of there being Garda stations”.

Ms Murphy said the bigger incomes in the Dublin area were accounted for because it is difficult to find locations to put masts.

Some rural areas “may well have the mast on a local GAA club or soccer pitch so it means that there isn’t the same pressure on the Garda station and it may well account for why the Dublin stations have a greater income”.

Mobile phone masts are also located at Dublin Castle, the Met Éireann building and the Phoenix Park among other OPW locations.
Source: Irish Times, Marie O'Halloran, 01 Jun 2020

Sinn Féin supports calls for a government review into the health impacts of 5G rollout
Ireland Created: 15 Nov 2019
A FULL GOVERNMENT review to establish the “independent facts” about the possible health impact of 5G rollout should take place, according to Sinn Féin.

Launching its programme for the party’s Sinn Féin Ard Fheis in Derry this weekend, Donegal TD Pearse Doherty said the Ard Comhairle will be supporting a motion calling for the health and environmental concerns relating to 5G to be reviewed.

5G is the next step up from the 4G and 3G services offered through mobile phones. It is capable of much faster download and upload speeds. Vodafone was the first network to offer it to customers earlier this year, but many other mobile phone networks are now following suit.

A number of communities have voiced concerns about the arrival of 5G in Ireland, in particular the radiation levels it emits, the impact of mobile masts and associated infrastructure, and the radio waves impact on humans.

5G concerns

Councillors in Clare, Leitrim, Sligo and Wicklow have passed motions raising objections to 5G on health grounds, while protests have been held in towns such as Dingle in Kerry.

In light of the pushback, it was reported recently that Ibec chief executive Danny McCoy wrote to Ministers Richard Bruton and Eoghan Murphy stating that it would be a disaster for businesses if 5G was blocked in any way.

Speaking about the motion ahead of the Ard Fheis this weekend, Doherty said the Ard Comhairle of the party met on Saturday and discussed all the motions, including the ones on 5G, and decided to support the motion which calls for a full, independent review into the effects of 5G.

The motion also calls for the government to provide health warnings where applicable to citizens on such technologies.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: The Journal, Christina Finn, 12 Nov 2019

5G ‘is wifi on steroids’ and very worrying, says UCC academic
Ireland Created: 3 Oct 2019
A LEADING expert on the health effects of wireless technology and microwave radiation has said he is very concerned about the fact that wi-fi is installed in Irish primary schools.

Professor Tom Butler from UCC made the comment while addressing a well-attended meeting entitled ‘What is 5G?’ recently held in O’Donovan’s Hotel in Clonakilty.

Speaking to The Southern Star afterwards, Professor Butler said that given his extensive review of the scientific literature and practice in other countries, it is one of concern for him.

‘Wi-fi should not be in Irish schools and on the teaching side of things, it serves very little purpose in a child’s education. Wired technologies are available and are just as effective as wireless technology,’ said Prof Butler.

‘Given the risks that many studies have identified and given the fact that Ireland is supposed to have entered the Precautionary Principle under EU Law, one of the areas is that you minimise the risk to children,’ he said.

‘Two recent studies evaluated the educational performance of children in class in Saudi Arabia with two schools used, one was exposed to wi-fi and the other wasn’t. In the school that was most exposed the students, all things being equal, had difficulties in terms of learning and in achieving their learning objectives and in simple acts of
comprehension.’

Prof Butler said that given this evidence and given the Precautionary Principle, it makes sense to him that school principals should be outlawing it on their premises.

‘However, there are schools, particularly primary schools, which have resisted the imposition of wi-fi upon them, but there other schools where there are principals who are enthusiastic about technology.

‘There’s nothing wrong with that, but they’re totally unaware of the risks that they’re exposing children to and even staff, especially those who are pregnant.’

Prof Butler also said he has heard that some of the early promoters of using ipads in schools are taking them out of the schools, because they have found that they are not useful for teaching.

‘I teach IT and I actually ban all IT technology during my class,’ he added.

Prof Butler, a former satellite and microwave communication engineer, also outlined his fears about 5G – which promises superfast internet with endless wireless applications – and believes its effect will be wide-ranging.

‘5G is like wi-fi on steroids, and the genie is out of the bottle now. We can’t put it back in.

‘But what we have to do here is recognise the risks that exist and get the powers that be to recognise those risks and do something about it, where children are concerned,’ he added.

‘We need to have the conversations about 5G and the cancer risks associated with it, and taking steps to avoid it as the mortality risks are very high.’
Click here to view the source article.
Source: The Southern Star, Kieran O'Mahony, 28 Sep 2019

Cllr calls for more debate on use of 5G technologies
Ireland Created: 3 Oct 2019
A COUNCILLOR has called for the local authority to take the issue of 5G seriously and lead the way in explaining the new technology.

Cllr Kevin Murphy (FG) raised the issue at a meeting of the local authority this week.

‘About two-and-a-half months ago, I had a question here for the County Council in relation to 5G which is a new type of technology and I asked that we should have a debate about it in the Council chamber if we needed it,’ said Cllr Murphy.

‘I have asked for this in development meetings, too, but have got no response so far. How seriously are we taking this issue?’ he wondered.

‘People are worried out there about the introduction of 5G and we should, as a Council, lead in explaining or even making up an area where we can publicly debate it,’ he added.

Cllr Murphy added that he doesn’t know whether he is going the wrong or right way about it but said that the introduction of 5G brings with it, not only major health implications, but also benefits too.

‘We should take the lead role here and open up a public debate on it.’

Cllr Ben Dalton O’Sullivan (Ind) supported Cllr Murphy’s call and said he has been surprised with the amount of calls he has received from members of the public on the issue of 5G.

5G networks are the next generation of cellular technology which allows for faster speeds and downloads. However, the discussion on the technology has focused on claims of its potentially cancer-causing radiation.

A recent meeting held in Clonakilty about 5G was addressed by Professor Tom Butler from UCC, a leading expert on the health effects of wireless technology and microwave radiation. He told attendees that the conversation about 5G and the cancer risks associated with it needs to begin now before it is rolled out across communities.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: The Southern Star, Kieran O'Mahony, 02 Oct 2019

'Urgent action needed' as cancer rates projected to double in Ireland in the next 25 years
Ireland Created: 12 Apr 2019
THE NUMBER OF cancer cases in Ireland may double in the next 25 years if current rates continue into the future, according to the latest statistics from the National Cancer Registry.

However, there are “grounds for optimism”, it said, because the increase in cancer rates could be a “more modest” 50% if recent trends in some cancers continue.

The National Cancer Registry director Professor Kerri Clough-Gorr said there is no doubt that there will be “substantial increase in numbers of cancers diagnosed in Ireland over the coming decades”.

This latest report from the National Cancer Registry follows on from previous reports in 2006, 2008 and 2014, and it said it is aimed at ensuring the most up to date estimates are in place so government and the health service can plan the future of cancer services in Ireland.

Responding to the report, the Irish Cancer Society said the facts around the number of people in Ireland who will get cancer are “frightening” but added that there is an opportunity now to “invest in cancer services so that people are diagnosed early, treated quickly and know how to reduce their risk of getting cancer”.

Researchers for the study used six of models to try to estimate how the number of people diagnosed with cancer will increase in the coming decades.

The figures derived from these models ranged between an 27% increase in the number of people with cancer, to a 143% increase by 2045.

Where over 20,000 cases of cancer are diagnosed each year in Ireland, this will double to 43,000 by 2045 – according to a model that assumes the average rate of cancer during 2011-2015 apply in future.

Using this model, cases of prostate cancer, lung cancer and colon cancer are set to more than double in the next 25 years to 6,880, 5,450 and 3,810 cases respectively.

The rate of breast cancer would also rise by 63%, from 3,106 cases in 2015 to 5,050 in 2045.

However, other models point to less of an increase when recent trends are taken into account.

When all the models are taken into account, the mid point – or median – projection is that cancers will increase by 18% for men and 84% for women, which is about a 50% increase overall in the number of people getting cancer.

These models, for example, take into account recent downward trends in breast and cervical cancer rates due to screening programmes such as BreastCheck and CercivalCheck.

A recent decline in the rates of men with prostate cancer may also reflect the high levels of PSA testing from the mid-1990s onward.

If these trends were to persist, the outlook in terms of the number of people diagnosed with cancer is less bleak.

Professor Clough-Gorr said: “But even that more limited increase in projected numbers of cancers will depend on sustained and where possible expanded public health and cancer prevention interventions aimed at reducing the risk of cancer diagnosis at the individual and population level.”

‘A worrying picture’

The Irish Cancer Society responded to the report by demanding urgent action that could save thousands in the years ahead.

CEO Averil Power said: “We are facing a future where one in two of us will get cancer. Although this fact is frightening, we have been given an opportunity to plan and invest in cancer services so that people are diagnosed early, treated quickly and know how to reduce their risk of getting cancer.

Our existing cancer services are buckling under current pressure, the government needs to make investment now to meet the huge surge in demand of the future.

The report highlights the increased demand that will be place on chemotherapy and radiotherapy services in the future, and Power said it is already the case that targets in these areas are not being met.

“These significant spikes in future demand for cancer treatment are warning signals which government needs to respond to with concrete actions,” she said.

This paints a worrying picture for the cancer patients of the future.

Power concluded by urging a coordinated approach with investment in treatment, diagnostics and prevention so that Ireland takes the most sensible approach to try to avoid the kind of increases in cancer rates suggested in this report.

In 2017, the government published its National Cancer Strategy through to 2026. Minister Simon Harris said that Ireland has made “significant progress” under previous cancer strategies, and the goal of the latest plan was to make further strides on this.

“The burden of cancer on individuals and on society will grow, unless significant progress is made on improved prevention, early diagnosis and treatment,” he said.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: The Journal, Sean Murray, 09 Apr 2019

Three Ireland ordered to remove Dublin phone mast
Ireland Created: 20 May 2016
An Bord Pleanála has ordered that 3 Ireland remove a phone mast in Dublin’s Glasnevin area despite warnings by the company this would cause major service disruptions for customers in Dublin, Louth and Meath.

The 45m mast in the Dublin Industrial Estate facilitates mobile phone coverage and 2G, 3G and 4G internet services for 3 and Meteor customers in the area and farther afield.

Local residents wanted the structure removed due to its “visually obtrusive” nature and An Bord Pleanála has decided to refuse permission to retain the mast.

The planning body received 38 separate submissions on the case, mainly from residents of the nearby Claremont and The Willows housing estates who argued the mast is a “considerable eyesore” and “makes a poor impression on visitors to the estates”.

Site history

There has been a telecommunications presence on the site since 1977 when Esat Telecom erected a 20m mast, later replaced by the current one in 2003.

That structure was given renewed five-year planning permission for 12 antennas and 21 radio link dishes by An Bord Pleanála in 2010.

This was after Dublin City Council refused to grant permission in both 2003 and 2010.

Third-party appellants estimated anywhere between 65 and 150 houses in the two estates were “impacted with clear views of the imposing mast”, and the Claremont and The Willows Residents Mast Committee launched a petition for its removal, signed by 85 per cent of Claremont residents and 65 per cent of The Willows homeowners .

Antennas and satellites
The planning inspector also received submissions from local councillors Cieran Perry and Brendan Carr, former TD for the area Joe Costello and Fine Gael Minister Paschal Donohoe, all of whom called for the mast to be taken down.

Residents queried why 3 Ireland could not relocate the antennas and satellites to a 42 m structure operated by Vodafone, which is positioned more centrally within the industrial estate.

3 Ireland argued the site is “a vital transmission hub” and “failure to maintain this installation would result in an immediate and negative impact of coverage levels in Finglas, Glasnevin and the north Dublin, Louth and Meath areas”.

The mast also serves five commercial operators, including the Mater and Bar Council, and the firm said removal would affect the hospital and local businesses.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Irish Times, Ciarán D'Arcy, 20 May 2016

Parents fight against mobile phone mast near school
Ireland Created: 11 May 2016
Concerned parents and local residents are protesting against plans to erect a mobile phone mast near a primary school in south Dublin.

(MV Editors note: be sure to watch the campaign video on the source link!)

Vodafone have applied for planning permission to install a mast on the roof of Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT) which is close to Monkstown Educate Together National School in Dublin.

A campaign against the plan has been launched by opposing parents and locals, including folk singer Christy Moore, who say they will “use every legal means possible” to get the mobile phone company to relocate the mast.

The parents’ group claim the mast will put 438 young children, teachers and the wider parent community at risk as the school “falls within the beam of maximum intensity”.

Spokesperson for the group Brian Healy explained: “There is mounting scientific evidence across many countries and agencies with regard to the safe placement of masts away from schools, with countries such as New Zealand, Sweden, Italy, Australia and parts of the US banning them from such areas.

“Questions have been raised whether placing mobile phone towers so close to a school where young children, and indeed their teachers, are continuously present for at least seven hours-a-day, is putting them in potential danger.

“It was once felt that the effects of cigarette smoking and second-hand smoke exposure was inconclusive. The consequences are now well known – too late for many children exposed to second-hand smoke.”

A report from the Department of Environment conducted in 2007 concluded that the majority scientific opinion was that “no adverse short or long-term effects have been demonstrated from exposure to electromagnetic fields at levels below the limits recommended by the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).”

However the parents say the ICNIRP guidelines are “out of date” and do not cover “long-term low-level exposure to microwaves” which they claim can cause DNA damage potentially leading to cancers; signal pulsing causing or worsening epilepsy; tinnitus and hearing problems; and headaches.

In response to the concerns, a spokesperson for Vodafone Ireland said: “We would like to assure you that we adhere to all planning and regulation guidelines and have followed due process in relation to Monkstown Educate Together National School at all stages of the planning process, including consultation with the school.

“Dun Laoghaire Rathdown initially granted the planning application and we will continue to work closely with the authorities in relation to the site.

“The need for the mast came about because of an increase in demand, both from local businesses and new housing developments.

“An increase in coverage was found to be needed to ensure that all local customers could access the services they rely on.”

The parents’ group have submitted an appeal to An Bord Pleanála over planning permission for the mast, and are calling on the government to strengthen existing legislation.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: UTV Ireland, 11 May 2016

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