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Residents raise concern at plans for new telecommunications mast planned for local GAA pitch

Residents raise concern at plans for new telecommunications mast planned for local GAA pitch

A group of concerned residents have come together to object to plans to erect a new telecommunications mast at a local GAA pitch.

Last month Talk of the Town revealed how Shared Access Limited had lodged a planning application with Louth County Council seeking to install the mobile phone antenna at the Dundalk Young Irelands pitch at Rockfield Court, off Hoey’s Lane.

Now a group of local residents have got together amid fears over what a mast such as this could mean for those in what is largely a built up residential area surrounded by numerous housing estates including Rockfield, Glenwood, College Manor and many more.

Brendan Gill, a local teacher who is one of the organisers of the campaign said: “They are objecting on the grounds that there is clear and conclusive scientific and medical evidence that the Electro-Magnetic-Frequency-Radiation (EMFRs) causes numerous forms of cancer, especially in children, triples the risk of miscarriages, damages male reproductive health to name but a few of the proven health concerns.

“Children are especially susceptible to these illnesses due to their physiology.”

Asked who is at risk from such a cell tower being installed on Hoey’s Lane, Brendan said: ” Dundalk Young Irelands GAA club is a club whose membership includes both adults and children and would draw large crowds to training and to competitive games. It has teams at the following levels; under 5s, under 7s, under 10s, under 12s, under 14s, under 16s, a minor team, a junior team and a senior team. Also during the summer months, Cúl camps for children are held in the club, meaning that even more children and adults will be on site. All of these individuals will be directly endangered by the EMFRs from the proposed mast.

“As well as this, Dundalk Young Irelands club is situated within a highly built up residential area with many young families with children of all ages. Some of the estates in very close proximity to the proposed mast are Rockfield Manor, Rockfield Court, Woodville Manor, College Heights, College Manor, Glenwood, Muirhevna Mór, the housing estates on Tom Bellew Avenue, to name but a few. This is a catchment area for thousands of people.

“In close proximity to the site of the proposed mast there are three educational institutions; Dundalk IT, O Fiaich College secondary school and St Joseph’s primary school. In light of the categorical evidence set out hat children are more susceptible to cancer and other illnesses caused by Electro-Magnetic-Frequency-Radiation from telecommunications masts, this is quite frightening. As well as this, there are already students in these institutions with underlying medical conditions and illnesses, whose health will be further compromised by this proposed mast.

“Directly next to the site of the proposed mast is Glenmuir FC. This club caters for children from 5 years of age to under 17s and also adults. There would also be large crowds at training sessions and competitive games. Again in light of the categorical evidence set out that children are more susceptible to cancer and other illnesses caused by Electro-Magnetic-Frequency-Radiation from telecommunications masts, this is quite alarming.”

Brendan included scientific and medical evidence from medical and scientific reports and journals, including from the World Health Organisation on why masts are a bad idea.

The online journal by Physicians for Safe Technology stated that “studies by Wolf and Wolf (2004) showed a significant increase in cancer in those living within 350 feet of a cell tower. Studies by Edgar (2004) found an increase in new cancer cases within a 10-year period if residents lived within 400 meters of a cell tower. They also found that within 5 years of operation of the transmitting base station the relative risk of cancer development tripled in residents near the cell tower compared to resident living outside the area. Dode (2011) performed a 10-year study (1996-2006) examining the distance from cell towers and cancer clusters. He and his colleagues found a significant increase in cancers in those living within 500 meters of the cell tower.”

Physicians for Safe Technology’s journal has also covered the rates of cancer at Ripton School, California which were linked to a telecommunications tower that was erected within the school’s grounds. It noted: “After 4 students and 3 teachers were diagnosed with cancer within a 3-year period, Sprint Telecom finally removed a cell tower at a Ripon, California school. While it is exceedingly difficult to identify the cause of a cancer cluster, parents and students in the San Joaquin County school are convinced there is one and it is caused by the campus cell tower. They are not only protesting but several have abandoned the small school which now features 4 rare cancers in students – two brain tumours, one kidney cancer and one liver cancer. Investigations of cell tower radiation have now been initiated at the school. After 200 parents stormed the school board meeting, school officials were prompted to ask for the cell tower to be removed at the K-8 school. Sprint Telecom has agreed to do so.”

Shared Access Limited are seeking permission to remove an existing 19.3m tall floodlight and replace it with a 27m monopole which would support telecommunications antennae for use by Eir and other operators, which with the installation of dishes, remote radio units and ground based equipment cabinets will provide 2G, 3G and 4G mobile electronic communication services.

The existing flood light lamps would be reattached to the replacement structure at 19.3m.

A decision on the matter is due by November 17th but people have until October 28th to make a submission to Louth County Council.