A number of meetings are taking place in relation to Eirgrid's plans for a number of new power line developments.

A special meeting of Mayo County Council to discuss the proposed GridWest power line has ended.

A total of 16 councillors voiced their concerns about the project during the course of the two hour meeting.

Many called for the 100 kilometre line from North Mayo to Flagford in Co Roscommon to be placed underground.

They citied health concerns as well as the environmental impact of pylons along the route.

Responding to councillors, the project manager, Sean Meagher, reiterated that the line would have to run overground.

He said this was not a cost issue but a technical issue.

Mr Meagher told the meeting that a 400kv high voltage line could not be accommodated underground and that fact would not change.

Eirgrid plans to speak to landowners in the coming weeks in a bid to finalise a route for the line.

Mr Meagher said the company would only access lands to assess their suitability with permission from landowners.

He said a final planning application was still 18 months away.

Public hearings open into Co Laois sub power-line station

Meanwhile, An Bord Pleanála is opening three days of public hearings today on proposals by Eirgrid to construct a sub power-line station in Ratheniska, Co Laois.

The station is part of a plan to enhance electricity capabilities in the Leinster area.

The hearing before Inspector Andrew Boyle opened this morning at the Killeshin Hotel in Portlaoise.

Eirgrid is to outline details of the project, which has been greeted with widespread opposition from residents in Co Laois.

It is understood that the Ratheniska, Timahoe and Spink Substation Action Group will make their submissions tomorrow.