Scandal! EirGrid in the Crosshairs.


eirgrid crosshairs

Ratheniska residents are claiming that they have exposed Eirgrid’s litany of failures and systematic corporate sharp practice. 

The Ratheniska, Timahoe, Spink (RTS) Action Group, when briefing Minister Denis Naughten, made a number of extremely serious allegations, which they backed up with a dossier of painstakingly accumulated evidence: 20170118 – Presentation to Ministers-For Issue

Aside from the long standing issues of site unsuitability, water source destruction and planning process corruption, the RTS Action Group claimed to have unearthed very serious transgressions by Eirgrid’s board of the code of practice for semi state bodies.

The evidence indicated that EirGrid had created “a short cut on the board“.  RTS Action Group explained that four members on the EirGrid Board had formed a “sub-board” and were “filtering information going to the board where they are now rubber stamping projects and funding on the basis of recommendation by this four member sub – board.”

If these allegations prove to be true, and the RTS Action Group are adamant that they are, then this constitutes an extremely serious breach of the code of practice, which should lead to a mass resignation of the EirGrid Board of Directors.

In a statement released after the meeting with the Minister, the RTS Group said:

“The RTS Group believe that Minister Naughten, who was accompanied to meet the delegation by his Cabinet colleague and local TD, Charlie Flanagan, had his eyes opened and was astonished by the import, nature, scope, scale and seriousness of the information being placed before him, for the first time.

This meeting arose from a promise made last June in the Dáil by Minister Naughten to visit the site of Eirgrid’s “unauthorised development” and the community who alerted the authorities to Eirgrid’s illegal building activities.

Our greatest concern is that the construction of Eirgrid’s unnecessary energy hub project will destroy and pollute the very necessary and only source of clean water for not just this community but for 8,000 Laois people. All of the evidence of how Eirgrid have conducted themselves up to now points to this eventuality, and we just can’t allow that to happen.
The political fallout from this semi-state operating with such a cavalier attitude to planning law, sustainable development, professional best practice, and corporate responsibility was that all three local TD’s and all Laois County Councillors were unanimous in calling for Eirgrid to cease the development.

We set out some of the evidence for the Ministers as to how Eirgrid have been deliberately deceiving us, the planning authorities, the other arms of state, and even the Dáil from the very outset of this ill-conceived project. This is not due to a few mistakes, or a few individuals making errors, but systematic deception through every phase of this development from its inception to illegal commencement. This evidence has been collected through in depth research and forensic examination. The community could not rely on what Eirgrid were telling us in the public domain throughout their sham consultation process. This damning dossier has been given to Minister Naughten, who as line Minister is ultimately responsible for Eirgrid, their conduct and corporate transparency and accountability.

The buck stops with him. He is now in full knowledge of the scale and scope of Eirgrid’s deception and disgraceful behaviour, we expect the Minister to reel Eirgrid in, to finally make them accountable for their actions on site and in their boardroom. He must move to scrap the project. On foot of today’s new revelations it is incumbent on the Minster to act, act promptly and decisively”.


The last word goes to the current Minister of Justice, who made the following statement after being briefed by the RTS Group:

“There has been a clear breach of law. The breach is sufficiently serious to abandon the project. I don’t believe there is any way back for EirGrid. They should pack up their machinery and should not come back.”

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.
This entry was posted in EirGrid; Insurance; Law; Cancer; EMF, RTS Action Group; Ratheniska; Timahoe; Spink and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Scandal! EirGrid in the Crosshairs.

  1. Pingback: Scandal! EirGrid in the Crosshairs | Mothers Against Wind Turbines Inc.

  2. dave F says:

    The ball has been firmly put in the ministers court. What’s seen can’t be unseen! Recent history should have taught us that bad things happen when boards, particularly dominant members on boards, circumvent the rules and create short cuts..(….Anglo….). An 80 million euro project got approval to become a 110 million euro project on the basis of a 1 page synopsis. We will have to wait and see if the Minister and his department make the Eirgrid board accountable, if the have control over Eirgrid, or vice versa.

  3. Pingback: Scandal! EirGrid in the Crosshairs. | ajmarciniak

  4. Nigel says:

    Any right minded person reading the presentation on the RTS Laois – Kilkenny Reinforcement Project dossier to Ministers Naughten and Flanagan of 18th January could not be other than shocked by the seriousness of the information contained in it.

    As a society, we expect our public utilities to operate in an open and transparent fashion that shows consideration for the concerns of local residents with whom they wish to interact. After all, those local residents are the hard working taxpayers who pay their wages. The Minister has a clear duty to ensure that this is the case for all of the utilities that fall under his remit.

    I look forward to the Minister for Energy instructing Eirgrid, in the words of the Justice Minister, “to pack up their machinery and should not come back”. No community should ever be put through the stress and expense that the RTS Group incurred to defend against a totally inappropriate development.

  5. Puzzled Electron says:

    The RTS presentation to the two ministers is a tutorial on the spin and misinformation that is sadly a key element in the repertoire of every wind farm (and associated substation) developer. You should read this carefully if you have a wind farm proposal in your area, or anticipate a proposal in the future.

    EirGrid and wind farm developers operate off the same playbook. Protest against the development? Well you are either NIMBYs or “anger is understandable when change happens”. Oh, you poor luddites – don’t worry, groundwater contamination and ILFN and shadow flicker are all in your simple mind. Nocebos. Not there in reality.

    Wondering why that substation is so big and has so many spare bays when it is stuck up a boreen between farms? Well, the substation will be there for the next 80 to 100 years and must be future-proofed for the day that rural Ireland is a wall to wall concrete industrial estate. Bays for connecting as yet undeclared wind farms? Don’t bother your head – not even a vague consideration.

    Public consultation? Oh yes, there was a meeting in the next parish three months ago. So sorry you didn’t hear about it. Would have loved to discuss it with you. Has the decision been made already? Of course not – it is just that there is only one option. To power a gazillion homes from clean wind energy. To save megatonnes of CO2 pollution that gums up everybody’s lungs. To save the planet.

    Material information challenging EIS/EIAR assertions. So sorry, your professional credentials and the substantive validity of your contention are trumped by the EIS/EIAR. Produced by real professionals, pukka experts, dear boy. Get back in your box. Don’t worry, the planners know best. Feel free to report contravention of planning conditions at any time. Already built? Missed the boat there. Substitute consent will sort that gallop.

    Rigorous cost-benefit analysis to determine the most appropriate mechanism to deliver the required capacity? Not at all – a monitoring process will be followed to ensure that annual work load does not become overbearing, perish the thought. And if it costs a few bob more, well the same hard working taxpayer will just have to cough up. To avoid stressing public utility personnel. To avoid massive sick leave bills.

    It is small wonder that the RTS Group say that they have no confidence in EirGrid or any of the agencies involved in their oversight. The same agencies that have either come to a place near you, or will be arriving, unannounced one day soon. Take heed!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s