‘Pylon corridor would destroy our autistic son’s quality of life’

electricity pylonsLiam and Fiona O’Neill, East Cork, Ireland – told the Irish Times that a proposed pylon corridor near their home would destroy their son’s quality of life.

Connor O’Neill 10 has severe autism with hypersensitivity to artificial noises.

Connor is the eldest of 4 children and reporter Claire O’Sullivan was told that noise level at home can become overwhelming at times and so he seeks sanctuary outside.

However Eirgrid are proposing to run a €500m Gridlink pylon corridor through the village of Clonmult, near Dungourney outside Midleton.

Playing outside will not be an option for Connor as he won’t be able to cope with the sound emanating from the powerlines.

Mr O’Neill told the paper that the constant humming from this corridor would torment his son’.

Mrs O’Neill added:

“We have designed our house around Connor and his needs. All the furniture is nailed to the floor as he can sometimes just decide to take things apart. We don’t ever want to put our son into residential care but would we have to?”

The family and other representatives of the Clonmult Lisgoold No Pylon Group met with Eirgrid before Christmas. Mr O’Neill informed them of his son’s sensory sensitivities.

“The response I got was that they could not guarantee that the Environmental Impact Statement would consider these individual cases. Neither could they supply information as to what medical expertise would be available to assess the impact of overhead lines on my son,”

An Eirgrid spokesman said that the EIA for the project will examine all the possible health implications, including corona noise. The effects of the overhead lines on people with autism will also be examined during the review process.

The original article by Claire O’Sullivan in the Irish Examiner can be found here