Plans to erect of string a electricity pylons through the scenic Sligo countryside have been met with opposition from locals and conservationists.

Reporter Michael Ryan met some of these objectors to get their views on the ESB development plans.

The problem in Sligo stems from the construction a new £10 million industrial complex at Hazelewood by Italian textile company SNIA. Now that the building is in place right at the edge of Lough Gill, the ESB must now get power into the factory. The options for the ESB are to string the pylons along the mountainside, or alternatively lay the cables under ground but at a higher cost.

One objector comments

It's proposed to run the cables right across the top of the mountain. This would mean that they'd be standing out in relief from any point in the Yeats country.

Objectors want to see the lines brought under ground in order to preserve the beauty of the scenic landscape.

1970 is European Conservation Year and the ESB annual report acknowledges the importance of preservation and conservation as part of the boards overall objectives.

Transmission lines have been routed in such a way as to impinge as little as possible on the landscape.

However, the final decision rests with the Minister and for one objector,

The question is do we spend £50,000 to conserve this area of unique natural importance, unique national importance. Do we spend this money or do we throw away an income of about £6 million a year on tourism alone?

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 16 December 1970. The reporter is Michael Ryan.