Ballygunner residents meet over mobile mast

By Jennifer Long

Friday, March 10, 2006

RESIDENTS of Ballygunner are holding a public meeting this Thursday night, March 9th, to discuss the situation regarding a controversial mobile phone mast in their area.

The meeting, at The Woodlands Hotel at 8pm, is being organised by a group of residents and parents of children attending the local national school, who maintain they’re still “hugely concerned” over the location of the mast.

The Meteor mast has been operational on Ballygunner GAA Club’s grounds, which are beside the school, for several months now but a planning application — for retention — was only lodged at the end of January.

Before the deadline for public submissions on Tuesday last (Feb. 28), a total of 23 objections/submissions were lodged with the City Council in respect of the application.

In addition to private residents of Ballinakill Court, Berkely Court, The Moorings, Bishopscourt and other estates who have children attending the school, submissions were lodged by the Parents’ Association at St. Mary’s National School as well as by school principal Michael White. A decision will be made by the local authority on March 21.

The controversy erupted only last week when local residents began to learn of the mast’s existence and the application to retain it.

But despite the outcry, chairman of Ballygunner Hurling Club Pat O’Sullivan told the Waterford News & Star that there could be no going back.

He said Meteor had assured the club that the mast did not pose a health risk but in any case, contracts were now signed for it between both parties so there could be no u-turn on the part of the club.

The matter was aired extensively on Deise Am on WLR last Wednesday and Thursday and because of the adverse publicity, the club released a statement.

Signed by club secretary Charlie Lapthorne, it read that the club had become “aware” of the concern expressed by some parents in regard to the location of a mobile phone base station on their grounds. “Under no circumstances would the club have agreed to the project if it posed the slightest threat to the health of children who play on our fields or who attend the schools in Ballygunner.

We have been assured that no such threat exists.”

Omega this is not true. See under:

Yesterday (Tuesday), Charlie Lapthorne said that a delegation from the parents’ association had been told that a Meteor representative could meet with them on Thursday but no response had been received to date. It’s understood the meeting in The Woodlands tomorrow night is just for residents to discuss the matter amongst themselves.

© Waterford News & Star, 2006.


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