GAA club urged to remove mobile mast

Friday, May 12, 2006

BALLYGUNNER GAA Club has been urged to take down a mobile phone mast sited beside St Mary’s National School.

Senator Brendan Kenneally of Fianna Fail, said the mast was erected without any public consultation or planning permission and its radiation emissions could threaten the health of nearby schoolchildren.

“It is very disappointing that Ballygunner GAA Club allowed this mast to be erected without any consultation with local residents or the local school,” said the Senator. “There is plenty of cause for concern about radiation emissions from mobile phone masts and until these fears are allayed by hard scientific evidence, we should not site them close to schools or health centres.”

Senator Kenneally, who is a member of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications, pointed to a recent wide-ranging report the committee undertook on mobile phone safety. “The Joint Committee investigated health fears prompted by mobile phone use. It found that there is a cloak of secrecy surrounding radiation levels emitted by the country’s 4,500 masts. The report suggested that planning guidelines be amended to stop the erection of masts near schools and playgrounds. It also recommended that the results of all emission testing on masts be published.

“The report, entitled ‘Report On Non-ionisation From Mobile Phone Handsets And Masts’, put forwards some very useful guidelines on the safe use of mobile phone technology. It is crucial that we err on the side of caution when dealing with mobile phone masts.

“I would urge Ballygunner GAA Club to immediately take down the mobile phone mast until we establish for sure that its emissions pose no threat to human health, particularly that of children,” added the Senator.

Meanwhile, as we went to press last night (Tuesday), a public meeting was taking place in the Scout Hall in Ballygunner amid continuing concerns about the mast.

© Waterford News & Star, 2006.



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