My name is Padraig. I’m your ordinary bloke. I have a loving wife and a very sick child. I have decided to call myself Paddy Pylon cos I have powerful enemies with bank balances larger than Tesco’s annual turnover. They are sailing huge boats loaded with pylons and wind turbines across the Irish Sea as we speak. They do not like being contradicted. They treat politicians like cheap toys: if they can’t be controlled, they are ruined and tossed aside. I don’t see many ruined politicians in this country. Go figure.
Two years ago I was approached by your man in a sharp suit. He asked if they could build a pylon near the bottom of my plot. There would be 30 000 euro in it for me. I remember asking at the time why specifically 30 000 euro? He told me it was a popular figure in the pylon industry as they found it was enough for most people. I believed his smile at the time.
Things were not good then as I had just lost my job in the building trade and I had a young child. My wife had a job in one of those talk centres but that went belly-up after the government weren’t bothered to step in. My pension funds with Irish National went away and never came back, along with the bosses of that fine institution. The whole thing was desperate altogether. So 30 000 euro was enough to bring me over. I never copped on that it was 30 pieces of silver and I had just placed my family in wicked danger.
We don’t sleep. We always feel bad. We have aches and pains all the time. We look shook all the time. My daughter has missed so much school I have started home-schooling her. Even when she does get to school the lads all laugh at her cos she’s so pale and skinny with big black circles around her eyes. When I manage to get a job here and there the lads are always asking if I’m scagged cos I look awful. My wife’s hair comes off in bunches. But nobody wants to mention the C word.
That pylon makes such a feckin racket so there is no sleep. I surf the internet a lot, looking for stuff on pylons and trying to avoid EirGrid’s shite website. I came across this English professor called Dennis Henshaw. Sure, he’s the auld enemy but what an eye opener. Your man Dennis explains that when dust settles on pylons and power cables it becomes electrically charged, sort of like iron filings left on an electromagnet. Only smaller. And deadlier. And they can fly on the wind much further.
This is from an open letter that Dennis wrote a while back:
“In the case of high voltage overhead powerlines, these should not be built close to houses or farms where cattle and poultry are housed.
The available evidence on adverse health effects of MF exposure speaks for itself. No longer can we talk of differing opinions of whether or not there are such adverse health effects: the question is not about what people think, rather it is about what the evidence says.
Official review bodies are usually constrained by their Terms of Reference and have not been in a position to access the bulk of our scientific knowledge of MF interactions with biological systems. As I will explain below, I estimate that such bodies have at most addressed only 10% of the available evidence/data.”
All we hear from our Ministers is that there is no danger and that they (the Government) would never dream about hurting Irish citizens. What a crock. And now they have appointed an expert panel with terms of reference as narrow as Victoria Beckham’s arse. As Dennis says, they will only be allowed to see 10% of the evidence. If that wasn’t bad enough, your man Rabbitte now says the panel’s findings won’t be binding, which shows they are running scared even from that 10%.
The talking heads on the government payroll have been very cute with their little speeches. All they talk about are non-ionised dust particles in their bogus studies telling us there is no danger. Sure, why would ordinary dust be dangerous? Do we look like eejits?
The dangerous dust is the supercharged stuff that comes off and down from the electric cable. It sticks on your skin and gives you skin cancer. It sticks on your lungs and gives you lung cancer. It attacks our kids with their weaker immune systems and gives them leukemia. It does the same with cows and horses.
As you can see, I’ve learned a bit from the internet. I’m still just your man who used to lay blocks for a living, but I have some knowledge that the government is trying to hide from me, and all those others with families in the EirGrid corridors. And by Jaysus I am hoppin’ – how dare you make my family sick without warning me about what I was getting into?
All I can say is when your man comes sliding up with his 30 000, answer him and the Minister like I should have: ” I will in me hole, now feck off my land”.
Dennis Henshaw is speaking in Trim on the 10th of February. I will be in the front row. I hope Nationwide or your wan on Prime Time make a film of his talk.