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Community Groups Last Updated: 27, May 2017 - 09:47

'Save the Mask not Mast' Campaign
15, Aug 2009 - 07:01

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Furious residents in Mayo are campaigning against proposals to put up a communication mast in a scenic area near a pre- school and close proximity to the shores of Loughs Mask and Carra.

The mobile phone industry has become one of Ireland’s biggest money-spinners – but as much as people love their mobile phones they hate the masts that make the technology work. Complaints about mobile phone masts are among the number one issue that constituents bring to their local TDs.

 "Nobody knows what the long-term health effects are," said one mother attending the meeting.

Opposition is mounting in the South Mayo village of Partry to the erection of an 80 foot mast by 3G Communications, in the townland of Furnace. This 80ft mast could be detrimental to local B&Bs, self-catering cottages, and other surrounding small businesses in the current economic climate. The application for planning permission for the mast was lodged with Mayo County Council. The site for the proposed mast is on Government lands of Coillte which is a small strip of trees on flat plains viewable from a large distance. The first indication received by local people of the intentions of the mobile communications company was on July 17th, when a planning notice appeared in the in Irish Independent newspaper.' A local committee was immediately established to campaign against the mast. The committee has met on two occasions already, with a large crowd attending both meeting; an indication of the strength of feeling that exists in the village about this matter. Speaking, Alice Maher of the anti-mast committee outlined the concerns of the people. It was also highlighted at the meeting that the demand for broadband was already being met by the existing companies in operation with ample speed. There are already communication masts in the area and it is now government policy that new companies onto the market should utilise existing masts. "We have three main fears in relation to this mast. Firstly, our biggest fear is of the health risk it will pose. There are a lot of children around here and we are concerned about their health," she said. "We are also concerned about the location of the mast. It is proposed to build on the forest lands in view from Lough Mask. This will spoil the natural beauty of the area. Which is officially designated as an area of highly scenic views by Mayo County Council. "The devaluation of land is our third concern. We believe that if this mast is erected it will lead to a devaluation of land and property in the area.  “We are calling on the support of all people interested in conserving our heritage and environment to engage in the planning process to prevent the erection of this unwanted man made eye sore stated Mr Paul McGuire”.

The concerns of the residents come under the headings: Health & Safety, Tourism, Visual impact, Property de-valuation, Effects on wildlife and flora.

More details can be viewed on the web page

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