PARENTS PROTEST OVER RATHMINES PHONE MASTS

Here is a short report from today's edition of THE IRISH TIMES.

Best,

Imelda, Cork


THE IRISH TIMES, FRIDAY, MARCH 10, 2006

"PARENTS PROTEST OVER RATHMINES PHONE MASTS

[by] Fiona Gartland

Parents and children from two schools in Rathmines, Dublin, yesterday protested outside the Office of Public Works against a mobile phone mast built close to their schools. The OPW gave Hutchinson Ireland and Vodaphone licences to install six mobile phone antennae on the Central Statistics Office at Ardee House in Rathmines, close to St. Mary's and St Louis schools in 2004. They were activated in 2005. Last October, following concern raised by locals, parents and workers in the office, the Minister with responsibility for the OPW, Tom Parlon, wrote to the operators and asked them to deactivate the masts. However, they declined to do so. Speaking outside the OPW offices in St Stephen's Green yesterday, Miriam Hennessy, a parent, said the parents believe the Minister could be doing more to resolve the issue and are angered by his refusal to meet them. A spokesman for the OPW said that they requested the operators to turn off the masts in advance of a report on non-ionising radiation to be presented to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health in June, but could not force them to do so. "We would be in breach of contract and would be liable to be sued if we forced them to deactivate the masts," he said.

"The masts operate within current health and safety guidelines and planning regulations, and if future laws lower the emissions allowed, these will have to be taken on board by operators."

Omega read "Base Stations, operating within strict national and international Guidelines, do not present a Health Risk?" under: //omega.twoday.net/stories/771911/

"Meanwhile, a group protesting about a 12 antennae mast on the Shankill Garda station in south Dublin have secured a commitment from Mr Parlon that no further work would take place until a further meeting later this month."

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