Group campaigns against masts

FOLLOWING an article in this newspaper last month regarding opposition to a mast at Coolock Garda Station, members of a campaign group have spoken out on the contentious issue. The Irish Electromagnetic Radiation Victims' Network (IERVN) campaigns on behalf of those who say they are affected by harmful emissions from masts.

The group's aim is to help “victims” and create public awareness of the issue.

Raheny resident, Con Colbert, a dedicated member of IERVN for a number of years, said that everyone in the group has “suffered ill health due to the presence of masts”.

“They have experienced a wide range of symptoms - burning in the skin, poor sleep quality, stress and a depletion of energy,” he said.

Mr Colbert became involved as a result of his own personal experience. He lives in close proximity to three masts in Raheny, including one at the local Garda station.

He said he tends to notice when “levels of radiation are high”.

“It is not too bad here at the present time,” he said. “But when I go into the village in Raheny, I feel uncomfortable and experience some disorientation and sudden fatigue.”

Mr Colbert said he has spoken to doctors but they are unable to form a diagnosis.

“Sensitivity to radiation is something that will not show up in a medical test,” Mr Colbert stated. “There are biological effects and they have been well documented by a group of scientists in Europe who have carried out extensive research in the area.”

Fellow IERVN member, Helen McCrory, from Clontarf, said she had to move out of her city centre apartment when a phone mast was erected outside her home.

“I can suffer to varying degrees, depending on the level of radiation,” she said.

“Different frequencies affect me in different ways, causing loss of voice and pain in my arms and shoulders,” she said.

She believes that masts are extremely dangerous and cause a great deal of distress for those who are susceptible to their effects.

Fellow campaigner, Enda Dalton, from Raheny, noticed that he suddenly became ill, couldn't sleep and didn't have any energy when he came into close contact with masts.

He said he received numerous letters and phone calls from people who had similar ailments. He lives about 200 yards from the nearest mast and 250 yards from the next one and has built a screened room in his house, which allows him to benefit from a “radioactive-free environment”.

Mr Dalton feels that there is a general lack of commitment to tackling the problem.

“Groups are campaigning, but there has been no real outcome,” he said.
A spokesman for the Office of Public Works (OPW) said the mast at Raheny Garda Station meets and complies with all health and safety regulations.
“Under the terms of our licence agreements, mobile phone operators are required to install and operate all equipment in accordance with all relevant legislation, health and safety, and planning,” he said.

“They must also operate within current standards and EU regulations and adhere to guidelines on exposure limits to emissions, issued by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).”
The OPW spokesman said he doesn't believe the presence of a number of masts in the same area represents a health hazard.

Omega read "Base Stations, operating within strict national and international Guidelines, do not present a Health Risk?" under:

“In our opinion, the greater number of masts allows for less emissions and strength,” he said.

The spokesman added that progress is being made on the issue.

“I understand that a joint Oireachtas Committee has been set up and an inter-departmental group formed, under the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, who will be reporting to this committee shortly,” he said.


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