Local representatives have called for the mast to be removed at IADT

THE decision to remove a Vodafone mast on the roof of IADT Dun Laoghaire has been met with a number of objections from locals. A petition on Change.org to remove it, has received 1,383 signatures to date.
The main reason for the objections is that the mast overlooks the premises of the Monkstown Educate Together School (METS) and planning rules state that a telecommunications mast should not point across a school.
A community Facebook page, Stop the Vodafone Masts at IADT has been set up where members often cite the phrase “Education not Radiation”.
Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett (PBP) submitted a planning appeal to the council when planning permission for the mast was submitted last August.
Cllr Victor Boyhan (Ind) has also appealed the planning permission along with General Election hopeful Cllr Ossian Smith (GP).
Smith told the Gazette: “The planning application used a map so old that the METS was not shown as it had not been built when the map was drawn. The original plan was to point it directly across the primary school yard.”
Cllr May Hanafin (FF) has also called for the mast to be removed following objecting to it at meeting with parents whose children attend METS.
Though Hanafin did not submit an appeal to the council, she told the Gazette that she would support the appeal to An Bord Pleanala.
She said: “I attended a large meeting of parents last week who are organising their opposition and an appeal to An Bord Pleanala which I am happy to support.
“I also call on the Board of IADT to withdraw their permission to Vodafone to place the mast on their roof.”
IADT financial controller Bernard Mullarkey spoke to the Gazette about IADT’s decision to work in partnership with Vodafone and erect the mast.
He said: “IADT’s intention has been to work in partnership with Vodafone to enhance the mobile phone capacity and services in the locality, this is for the benefit of the local community, IADT students and staff, businesses in the area and the area generally.”
When asked about parents’ concerns Mullarkey said: “Health and safety has been of prime importance to IADT when we considered this proposal.
“There are significant EU regulations which govern this type of equipment to ensure that they don’t impact on the health and safety of people in the area.
“IADT has received the necessary documentation that all the equipment to be installed meets the requirements and EU regulations.”
Cllr Smith said: “Vodafone needs to find an alternative location for the transmission equipment which is not on top of or next door to a school or college.
“They should have the decency to discuss their plans with the people in the area first.”
Mullarkey said: “Vodafone, acting with IADT’s consent lodged a planning application with the council which is the formal mechanism by which people can comment on planning issues and all the relevant advertising was done.”
A spokesperson from DLRCC told the Gazette that a decision to grant permission for the mast was made on January 19, 2016, but the decision may now be appealed to An Bord Pleanala but couldn’t comment further on the live application.
At the time of going to press Vodafone had not commented on this.

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