Buncrana residents protest against Garda mast plan for 3G & 4G antennas

Buncrana residents protest against the decision by OPW to grant a license to a private company to erect 3G & 4G antennas on the existing Garda mast at Buncrana Garda station. Residents feel let down by the planning system which gives undue influence to telecommunication companies over their rights to a healthy home environment. The residents demand that this development should be stopped because of the overwhelming scientific proof that these antennas can damage health.

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The Buncrana Garda Mast Action Group and 5G Inishowen Awareness held a protest outside Buncrana Garda station last Saturday May 11. The protest was in support of local residents opposed to plans by an American private company Shared Access to erect 3G and 4G wireless antennas on the station's mast.

James Quigley, who lives approx 100 yards from Garda station mast said that he only learnt, in the last couple of weeks, that the OPW granted a license last October. “The OPW hadn’t the courtesy to inform us and there was never any consultation with residents. I am in the process of trying to find out what rights I have especially in defense of the health of my family. However, I am finding it very difficult to get information. Apparently this development and the OPW may be exempted from the normal planning process. I am questioning this exemption and the fact that we residents have no say. I can not see how it is fair. I believe there is a question mark over whether it should be exempted at all and or whether there should have been a consultation process in the first place. There seems to be a major conflict of interest here since the Government will be paid by the company for use of the mast, yet it is the Government who oversee the planning process”

According to the Dept of Housing, Planning and Local Government the 1996 Telecommunications Antennae and Support Structures Guidelines for Planning Authorities are still in force but amended in certain sections by Circular PL07/12.

According to Electro Magnetic Sense Ireland the Government have watered down legislation in favour of the telecommunication companies. In 2012 the Minister removed separation distance from vulnerable places as a condition as well as stating that health grounds should not be considered as part of the planning application. A further update in 2018 on the planning guidelines allow for higher structures and more antennae and dishes on masts, giving even more leeway to telecommunications companies.

BGMAG spokesman, Mr Quigley said “Imagine having no rights to object to something that could potentially kill me and my family. How come the Government were allowed to get away with that? “

BGMAG has written to OPW requesting clarification about the development and to at least lodge an objection. So far they have not received an answer from OPW. A Freedom of Information request was sent this week for a copy of the license and relevant legislation. Initially they sent Donegal County Council Planning a Section 5 Exempted Development form.

Mr Quigley said that the Section 5 form seems to be the only legal avenue there is, at present, to object or query the development. It potentially could be a route to An Bord Planala. Failing this, he said, they could pursue EU legislation since it is clear that the Government is ignoring health grounds.

If anyone has any doubts or has not heard about the dangers of wireless, Radio Microwave Radiation or EMF technology read Prof Tom Butler, University College Cork,- On the Clear Evidence of the Risks to Childrenfrom Smartphone and WiFi Radio Frequency Radiation or the International EMF Scientist Appeal which states:

”Numerous recent scientific publications have shown that EMF affects living organisms at levels well below most international and national guidelines. Effects include increased cancer risk, cellular stress, increase in harmful free radicals, genetic damages, structural and functional changes of the reproductive system, learning and memory deficits, neurological disorders, and negative impacts on general well-being in humans. Damage goes well beyond the human race, as there is growing evidence of harmful effects to both plant and animal life.”

Members of 5G Inishowen Awareness.