On Friday I travelled all the way down from Mullingar to Dungarvan in County Waterford. Peig was looking after Saoirse so couldn’t go. Herself has banned me from driving the car, so I took the train and the bus, which was grand as I got in a few scoops on the journey down.
It is plain as the spots on my backside why EirGrid is losing the fight. It is because of these people in Waterford. As Saoirse would say, they are awesome. They were brave when EirGrid tried to bully them. They were clever when Eirgrid lied to them. They stood firm when Rabbitte told them to ‘behave’. And look who is still standing, Pat, but you should be losing your job soon, although if Shatter is anything to go by, the only way to lose your job in this government is to go into the ground. I know youse is never dismissed from the civil service, but these goings-on with this government is mental. Enough about the gangsters, I want to talk about the good people of the Comeraghs.
When the whole country was being conned, they supported each other and stood firm. True patriots. Real Irish. The rest of us should hang our heads like the snivelling wretches we are, especially me with my thirty pieces of EirGrid silver.
It was all happening at Lawlor’s Hotel in Dungarvan, and with my hand on my heart I can say it was the best time of my life. Who would have thought I would see heroism and know love at first sight, when I came down to hear about fighting pylons?
The place was jammed with good people. There was a short skirmish at the beginning with some politicians demanding the right to speak – and the place clearly marked a no-litter zone. Politicians belong in the grey bin – no chance of recycling there. In the end the cute hoors were given some time after the proper speakers and before question time. I could tell you what they said, but I couldn’t be arsed. Because that is when it happened. I saw Midi.
Midi, I still don’t know your second name because everytime I tried to speak to you, youse was surrounded by these big Comeragh Mountain Men. You don’t mess with those boyos.
Midi is magnificent. Like an Irish Mammy with pizzazz. When the cute hoors were trying to hijack the show, like they did on that march, Midi stopped them. She has a quiet don’t-feck-with-me voice and byjaysus, the politicians shut up and sat down like the bold children they are. My tips tingled when she spoke. It was like my first Valentines all over again. I was smitten, and I tell yees, if I was dirty years younger … ah never you mind, it won’t ever happen.
The first speaker was John McCusker of Comeraghs Against Pylons (CAP). A man’s man, a true hero. John showed EirGrid the finger, and then jammed it so far up their arse that they’re having nosebleeds in Dublin.
John told us about the long struggle against EirGrid, back to the days when a small group of people from Kilmacthomas started CAP after hearing the shocking news of what EirGrid planned. John spoke about the importance of community, of standing up for your family and friends, of keeping the country beautiful for our children and our children’s children. It was beautiful, and I was weeping into my pint.
John also told us about EirGrid and the lies they told us, and the lies they keep telling us. How Rabbitte refused to look at photos of our lovely countryside and what it would look like covered in pylons. John told us that Rabbitte was invited to this meeting but couldn’t be arsed to even reply to the invitation. The same with John Deasy, who has never shown support for this fight and did not reply to the invite. The people growled.
The next speaker was Thomas Kemp. A quiet, gentle man. I thought at the time that Thomas was a rocket scientist, but I see now that he is a nuclear physicist, a right clever bloke. Thomas spoke to us, not at us or down to us, like those ‘experts’ from EirGrid. And when Thomas spoke I understood – it all became clear to me. The cancer is caused by static electricity.
I remember as a chiseller at junior school when we would rub the plastic ruler against our socks and pick up pieces of paper and the hems of girl’s dresses. The teacher explained in science class that the ruler was electrically charged by the rubbing and so attracted stuff.
The way that Thomas explained it was the same thing. The particles coming off the pylons and the cables are charged and their static picks up all the pollution and pesticides, and so it turns into this sticky ball of poison which is carried by the wind straight to your house and onto your skin and into your lungs. Thomas told us this happens not when you are up and walking around, but when you are in your bed asleep cos then you are not earthed.
This was scary stuff, and you could have heard a pin drop as Thomas spoke in his quiet voice.
The third speaker was the man of the moment, Malcolm Brown, co-author of the Brown and White Report, Parts 1 and 2. They are on the Rethink Pylons website if you want a good read.
I was proud to hear that Malcolm had taken up my idea of burning hash in MoneyPoint. He didn’t say that, but sure, he used my idea. I didn’t care, it was enough to know that he read my blog, but perhaps you could have called me up and introduced me to the crowd, eh Malcolm?
Anyways, Malcolm explained that we can convert MoneyPoint to burn biomass, and that would cost a tenth of the cost of Grid 25, and would need no upgrade and NO PYLONS. Jaysus, you could have knocked me down with a baby’s headbutt. Why was this not being talked about in government? So simple, so much cheaper, lots of jobs, and no damage to the countryside. And also no rich wind industry, and perhaps there’s your answer – we should be looking at whose been promised jobs on the board of directors of the wind farms.
There were lots of good questions asked, with people showing that they knew much more about the lies than EirGrid and Rabbitte would like us to know, and both politicians, David from the Shinners and Paudie from the Blueshirts, admitting that they would not live next to pylons. Paudie kept telling us to follow procedures, and that the interconnector with the UK and France was a grand idea, but he was beaten, and he knew it.
Too be sure, twas a grand doo altogether. Afterwards in the bar having a few scoops with some mountain men, I was asking why would the Shinners be sticking with undergrounding when you would expect them to throw the Grid25 thing out altogether? A wag standing at the bar, and I say standing but he was swaying like a banshee on steroids, shouted out that the Shinners were not that keen on digging things up, usually the opposite, but this was all about laundering the bank robbery money through the wind farms in the North. Your man fell asleep in his pint, so I could not ask him where he got his info.
Twas such a grand party with such grand people that I was still in the pub on Saturday night. Jaysus, those people can drink. But here I am on the train, on a Sunday, back to Mullingar, thinking about biomass and Midi, but not in that order.