Comment on “EirGrid and information to the public”

I received such a well-written comment from one of my regular followers, Mick Foley of Kildare Against Pylons, in response to my latest blog “EirGrid and information  to the public” that I thought I would publish it in full. I am also on holiday at the moment and so cannot write anything myself, so it all works out rather nicely.

“I was trying to catch up with your great blog after resolving computer issues and I came across references to the Denis O’Sullivan report and I thought surely there can’t be that many errors in the document, it was done by a panel of experts. And then I couldn’t find it on EirGrids website, though I was sure it was on it a few months back. I wanted to go in to the local office in Kilcullen to ask them what had happened to it and if it was true that it was full of mistakes, but they always pretend they don’t know anything and promise to get back to you, which they never do. No point emailing them as I don’t know anybody who has had a reply which answered any actual questions, unless we are living in some sort of dead zone as far as EirGrid are concerned? So I can only assume they took it down because of your investigations, so good for you.

And then I got to thinking, if Fintan Slye quoted from this crap on Prime Time and EirGrid used it on their only document to do with health, which was made available to the public during the consultation process does this not mean that the consultation process itself is so flawed that it’s actually invalid? And then you wonder who the hell in Eirgrid or the Government checked the document out in the first place?  Or did they just accept the words of wisdom from this obscure Professor of Astronomy? Surely heads should roll because of this? Or was that one of the reasons for the cabinet reshuffle?

Eirgrid said that it was the view of the government and it was quoted by different departments, so what the hell was going on?

Suddenly this review has been dropped and they seem to be avoiding it, like a dog turd on a hot pavement and rightly so, but it’s a bit late for us. Where’s the apology? Where’s the letter in the media saying ‘sorry everyone we messed up, that review we quoted and relied on was a load of ….’.   Ha, as if they would do that. If you hadn’t pointed out the errors so publicly they would have carried on with the deceit. No wonder you got nominated for a Blog award.

Slye sat stoney faced, we all watched him on Prime Time last year, with his bald patch shining like a halo in the tv lights “as recently as 2010 the Office of the Chief Scientist stated that it is simply not possible at the power levels for transmission lines to cause cancer. So I mean, I just want to reassure people, because I can absolutely understand how people could be concerned if they believe there was any risk to their health.”  Of course people were concerned – by far the most common complaint in the 35000 submissions concerned health and peoples’ fear for their health and their kids. Even if EirGrid deny that they commissioned it, and we all have our own thoughts on that one, they should still be responsible for what they put up on their website for the public to read, now shouldn’t they?

Have you seen their new study done by RPS on their website? I thought it was going to be quite comprehensive, being 116 pages long, until I read through it.

I was on nights so I had a good few hours of peace to digest it. I know I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but so much of it doesn’t make any sense. They keep on about non-ionising radiation not being able to cause cancer but then talk about UV being non-ionising and yet that can cause skin cancer. Why is it they think UV can and EMF can’t? As for the literature review they did, they only looked at 15 papers. Is 15 some sort of magic number for them or what? Isn’t it the same number as was looked at in the report by Denis O’Sullivan? They say they measured EMF levels at different times of day and year but missed out evenings when the dinner is being cooked and they only show one day in the winter when we all have the lights on and the heating going and that’s a Monday and nothing later than 3.15 in the afternoon. They only measured out to 100 meters but the levels were still detectable. Why didn’t they keep going until they ran out? Or were they worried we’d find out how far the fields stretch if they did?

They talk about ‘in vivo’ studies in their literature review. According to wiki “Studies that are in vivo are those in which the effects of various biological entities are tested on whole, living organisms usually animals including humans,” so unless they are going to actually admit that people living near power lines are basically just guinea pigs in a giant experiment then I think most of the In Vivo studies were actually Epidemiological ones. This current ‘document’ was supposedly peer reviewed by Mr Repacholi, so he should have picked up on this. But if you compare the wording to that of the Irish Government 2007 report which he chaired and then to other documents and court cases which he was involved in the similarities are pretty striking. So I reckon he did more than just peer review it.

Unfortunately in the worlds of big business and let us be clear, this is exactly what we are dealing with here, when it comes to scientists it most truly is guilty by association. I assume I don’t need to go into the sordid details of who is who, I am sure you must be aware of the main movers and shakers by now, and if you’re not you really need to wake up and smell the coffee. Needless to say a lot of them are represented many times in the new EirGrid report. They also write of the WHO and ICNIRP as if they are some wonderful independent institutions with the health of the world as their primary concern. Give me a break! Mr Repacholi of whom I can think of not one single polite word, worked at the WHO since 1980. He was put in charge of their EMF task groups, he invited utility companies to not only fund the research, but to comment on and alter the findings. The ICNIRP was co-founded by Mr Repacholi, so you can guess how independent they are.

Because his name keeps coming up, you should read this about the wind industry’s and EirGrid’s best friend, Mr Repacholi. It’s a long read but I would recommend to anyone who is concerned about either  the health effects of EMFs or is just interested in court cases and how they can be manipulated by someone who apparently knows very little but is clever with words even if he has the “morality of a slug” as Mr Marino puts it so nicely. There is obviously a new generation of ‘scientists’ willing to prostitute themselves to the power companies with fraudulent studies since the court case in question was in 1990, but anyone can see that Repacholi has not changed his methods. An independent Study which shows an effect is dismissed by him using a clatter of Industry rigged studies, which not surprisingly found ‘no effect’.

The Irish Government chose him in 2007 to head their EMF report. By allowing him anywhere near a review the conclusions of which would impact on so many lives was unforgivable and shows how little the government thought of the people who were paying their wages. That 7 years later, EirGrid would choose to have Repacholi involved in their study is understandable. Their contempt for the Irish people has been proven time and time again, what does surprise me though is the fact that EirGrid seem to think that anybody will be stupid enough to believe the mutterings of a disgraced scientist whose name is synonymous with deceit and lies. Surely we the Irish people are not so gullible?

Yours Mick Foley

Kildare Against Pylons”


About Neil van Dokkum

Neil van Dokkum (B. SocSc; LLB; LLM; PGC Con.Lit) Neil is a law lecturer and has been so since arriving in Ireland from South Africa in 2002. Prior to that Neil worked in a leading firm of solicitors from 1987-1992, before being admitted as an Advocate of the Supreme Court of South Africa (a barrister) in 1992. He published three books in South Africa on employment law and unfair dismissal, as well as being published in numerous national and international peer-reviewed journals. Neil currently specialises in employment law, medical negligence law, family law and child protection law. He dabbles in EU law (procurement and energy). Neil retired from full-time practice in 2002 to take up a lecturing post. He has published three books since then, “Nursing Law for Irish Students (2005); “Evidence” (2007); and “Nursing Law for Students in Ireland” (2011). His current interest is the area of disability as a politico-economic construct. Neil is very happily married to Fiona, and they have two sons, Rory and Ian.
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