The Dunmanway-Clashavoon section of Ireland's pylon network was the subject of prolonged resistance from local landowners and residents. People questioned the need for new pylons as well as the route chosen. Although an existing line of pylons connects Clashavoon with Dunmanway, increased capacity was needed to accommodate wind farms in the area.
The other reason was the need for back-up to prevent power outages. According to Eirgrid:“At present, only two 110 kV transmission lines maintain the electricity supply in South West Cork. These are the Dunmanway-Macroom 110 kV line and the Bandon-Raffeen 110 kV line. This creates a potential risk during routine maintenance. If, when one line was down for maintenance, there was a failure on the other line, a large section of South West Cork would lose electricity supply. This would leave the towns of Bandon, Ballylickey, Dunmanway and extended and surrounding areas around without power.”
Aside from concerns about health, especially for those with houses near the line, local residents have been highly critical of the decision to route the new line away from the old one, affecting more people and spoiling previously untouched views. Requests to bury the cables underground were dismissed by Eirgrid, who said that financially it would not make sense.
So far, there has been no opposition to the construction crews, and work is commencing at pace.