Phone mast group may hold Dail protest

The Nationalist News 20.04.06

The Cahir-based chairman of a telecommunications lobby group has slammed the Government for its "failure" to implement Oireachtas committee recommendations on the location of mobile phone masts. And a protest at the gates of the Dáil may be on the cards, to highlight the serious concerns in rural communities over masts and their emissions. Better Environment and Safer Telecommunications (B.E.S.T.) was established over a year ago and is currently chaired by Cahir businessman John Cummins. The group was set up to campaign for a safer telecommunications system in Ireland and will host a meeting next Tuesday night in Limerick to address concerns about the "increasing number of planning applications for the erection of phone masts in the heart of communities nationwide". The purpose of the meeting is to formulate a further plan of action to ensure that phone masts are not located near schools, health centres, hospitals, and crèches. According to John Cummins, the Government has failed to implement the recommendations of the Joint Oireachtas Report of June, 2005, which advised such policy. "Those recommendations seem to have been shelved", said Mr Cummins this week. The possibility of staging a protest at Dáil Éireann on this matter, "which is causing huge distress among rural communities", will be discussed at next Tuesday's meeting, which takes place in the South Court Hotel at 8pm. Mr Cummins also pointed out that the emissions allowed from mobile 'phone masts in Ireland are much higher than those in other European countries such as Italy, Switzerland and Hungary. The B.E.S.T. Group has already attended community group meetings which were in opposition to phone masts in their communities in counties Tipperary, Limerick, Clare, Cork, Kerry, Waterford, Galway, Carlow, Louth, Laois, Meath, and Offaly. The Group has also met with the Department of Communications, the Joint Oireachtas Committee for Health and Children and made presentations to Limerick and Kerry County Councils. "We are now calling on all Groups and individuals who have concerns with regard to the adverse health effects associated with radiation emissions from phone masts to attend this very important and informative meeting." Guest Speakers at the meeting will be representatives of the Irish Doctors Environmental Association who will discuss the medical and scientific findings in relation to ill-health associated with exposure to emissions and members of the Irish Radiation Victims Network will talk about the ill-health they are suffering due to exposure to emissions from phone masts.

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