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‘A nuisance’ – objections fly in from Quilty community to planned mast

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*Photograph: Ann O’Connell

Strong opposition is mounting in Quilty to the proposed construction of a telecommunications mast in the village.

As reported in the previous edition of The Clare Echo, a planned development of a 24m mast has led to the reignition of a local campaign to prevent the construction going ahead.

Five months ago, Clare County Council and An Bord Pleanála refused similar plans but developers have submitted a new application and stressed its importance in facilitating remote working.

Clare County Council’s planning department has been kept busy with the amount of objections lodged in recent days surrounding the application from Cignal Infrastructure Ltd. As of Wednesday morning, 56 submissions had been uploaded to the planning file by Council officials while one Quilty native told The Clare Echo a total of 115 submissions had been made.

Kilmurry Ibrickane Ladies Football club were among those to object along with local residents. Visual impact, devaluation of property, proximity to Quilty NS and Pairc Naomh Mhuire have been identified as key points in the submissions.

In its correspondence, the ladies football club stated that parents of underage players “have advised that they do not want their children playing matches or training at the GAA pitch if the development goes ahead as they do not know the full extent of the impact that the mast would have would have on their and in particular their children’s health”.

A remote worker disputed the argument from the telecommunications company on the benefit of infrastructure to those working from home as they said they “found the that the service already in the area to facilitate this was quite sufficient”.

“Tourism is also very important to the village of Quilty and surrounding areas and we believe that this structure would negatively impact on our landscape as it would be viewable for miles given its location,” one objection noted.

Cllr Cillian Murphy (FF) has also added his support to those opposing the plans and made his first submission to a planning application since becoming a county councillor last May. “In my personal opinion, I would go so far as to consider this application to be a nuisance, a drain on the resources of the local authority in the first instance, and the local community in the second. The latter have been called upon again, the second time in a year, to expend significant time, energy and money from their limited resources to take on a large commercial venture at a time where all of those are in short supply due to the affects of COVID-19,” he stated.

Locals and the developers expect to have a decision from Clare County Council in early December on whether it will be proceed or not.

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, TheJournal.ie and The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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