Fears more infrastructure could be added to mast

A Donegal county councillor says he fears a phone mast being erected at a Ramelton beauty spot could get bigger as time goes on.
Ian McGarvey narrowly avoided arrest after blocking the entry to Drumonaghan Wood recently. The 91-year-old was protesting against plans to construct a telecommunications mast in the forest.
Work on erecting the mast began on Monday and the wood will remain closed off to the public until December 18.
Opposing the telecom tower, Councillor McGarvey asked that the local authority’s chief executive John McLaughlin look at the County Development Plan.
It reads: ‘Co-location of antennae on existing masts and co-location of masts on existing sites is preferred as it would serve to eliminate demand to create new mast locations throughout the county’.
The document adds that rather than erecting new masts, locating antennae on existing structures such as electricity pylons and aerials should be encouraged.
Ian McGarvey says that by erecting a new mast at Drumonaghan Wood, a new site is being created. And his concern is that further infrastructure could be added to it, as is encouraged in the development plan.
“They are creating a new site here and that would be a concern of mine,” Councillor McGarvey said.
“I have confronted the chief executive on the decision-making process and how this whole thing has been handled. And I will oppose it if I have to go to Brussels because no one can dispute that this is one of the most sensitive sites in Donegal.
“No due consideration has been given to the residents here. I am obliged as an elected representative to have a duty of care to the public and this mast is being erected against the wishes of the people I represent.
“Everyone is talking about the need to protect our woodlands and our trees. But when you look at this, how can you say this is right and say that it is the best we can do for the people of Donegal.”
Donegal County Council was asked to respond to Councillor McGarvey’s concerns but at the time of going to press they had not responded.

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