“Intimidated” staff won’t complain about mast

STAFF, parents and students at Villier’s School are afraid to complain about a proposed 3G Mast, which is to be constructed on the roof of their school because of alleged intimidation from the board of management.

Pat O’Donovan, PRO with Better Environmental and Safer Telecommunications said that he received numerous calls from concerned parents and staff about the possible adverse health conditions from the Hutchison 3G Ireland ltd mobile phone mast. But only a handful of people turned up at a meeting in the Davin Arms in Caherdavin earlier this week "because they said they were afraid they would be targeted”.

And Mr O’Donovan said that money is the driving force behind the plan as the school will get a windfall of thousands of euro, if the planning permission is approved.

And there are rumours that the school has been given an offer they can’t refuse from the mobile phone operators and that many more antennae could be added to the structure at a later date.

Principal of the North Circular Road private school, Thomas Hardy was not available for comment at the time of going to press. But a staff member said that "it was a board matter”.

All objections to the planning application have to be entered by June 19 and that is why BEST held the emergency in Caherdavin earlier this week.

The chairperson of BEST, John Cummins, who also attended the meeting said that the planning permission notice has been placed on a wall at the front of the school which is hidden behind a huge rectangular wheelie bin that is permanently placed there. A planning application is supposed to be fully visible, he added and this is just adding to "the whole cloak and dagger mentality”.

Cllr Michael Hourigan was the only public representative at the meeting and he told the Limerick Post that he was "totally opposed to the application” and that financial gain shouldn’t be put before people’s health. He also said that he will be recommending Limerick City Council to refuse this planning application.

Mr O’Donovan, who works as an auctioneer in Newcastle West said that it was one of the "strangest” BEST meetings he has ever attended because "people were really afraid to be seen to be against the project”.

© Limerick Post Newspapers 2006



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