- Minister Regina Doherty TD
Government Chief Whip
4th November 2016
Significant investment in Ashbourne will prevent future power outages - Doherty
Meath East Minister of State and Government Chief Whip Regina Doherty has said that Ashbourne is to receive significant investment which will prevent future power outages in the town following a meeting with Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughton.
The local Minister said “We have recorded a total of 25 power outages in Ashbourne town throughout the summer months of June, July and August, which is the known peak time for outages nationally throughout the calendar year. Hundreds of Ashbourne based businesses and residents were affected as a result of this high occurrence of power outages.
“I have been working closely alongside local Councillor Alan Tobin with the key stakeholders affected by these power outages including business owners, residents and the Ashbourne Chamber with a view to collecting information as to how the intermittent supply of power to Ashbourne has been affecting people’s daily lives.
“I subsequently arranged a meeting with Minister Denis Naughton and invited his Department Officials and representatives from the ESB with a view to establishing a solution for Ashbourne and eliminating such high instances of power outages in our town.
“Both the Department and the ESB were incredibly co-operative and accommodating as to the concerns presented to them at our meeting in Government Buildings yesterday. Minister Naughton and his delegation presented us with a number of reasons identified as the cause of our outages and the solution and investment which is already underway with a view to eliminating future power cuts in the town.
“The nuts and bolts of this solution will see a separation of supply between rural and urban Ashbourne to allow for greater continuity on the basis of needs of a particular demographic.
“Some of the 25 outages were due to lightening, others due to bird strikes, whatever the reason there is no doubt about it – this issue can be rectified and will be.
“I await a complete breakdown from the ESB as to the investment in our local critical infrastructure, however, Ashbourne is without doubt a priority for the Department and the ESB with on the ground works and network amendments to be completed no later than the second quarter of 2017. Without the provision of a long-term solution for Ashbourne’s power supply issues will see hefty regulatory fines placed on ESB which I know they are keen to avoid.
“Many of the technical and infrastructural solutions currently in progress by the ESB could be implemented much sooner, however, due consideration must be given local landowners to allow for seasonal tillage and construction projects.”
Concluding, Minister Doherty said “I will circulate the specifics of the solution for continuity of power supply for Ashbourne as soon as I have received them from the Department. I look forward to next summer when these works will be completed and we will see a noted reduction in power outages during its peak season. This is a priority for the Minister, his Department and the ESB and I will continue to make representations to all bodies until we see this solution through to its fruition.”