Gilmore watch your front garden, your mobile is out of range and might as well be powered off.

The following quotation is extracted from Eamonn Gilmore’s speech to the labour Party Conference in Galway – “Investment in networks like renewable energy, next generation communications, smart grids. Creating the environment for a new wave of Irish companies, that can seize the opportunities of a new world economy.”

Mr Gilmore, the public representatives of the Labour Party in Dublin Northwest have an interesting attitude to “next generation communications” because my experience has been and continues to be that when challenged, Labour supports any local opposition to mobile phone masts and non-buried telecommunications, usually under the guise of ‘planning’. Issues such as health and safety are always cited as any excuse and the precautionary principle limps out from left field. No serious attempt is made to understand and make a critical evaluation of the relative risks of mobile phone telegraphy or that only 20 watts is the transmission power and that hand sets operate at about 14 watts. The radio waves do not damage DNA in vitro. The evidence for risk at schools is unsound and is confounded anyway by the high proportion of children owning mobiles.

The Telecommunications and Internet Federation reports that competitor countries are already moving to the next generation telecomms. These systems are inportant for economic recovery in the Smart Economy. Comreg says that demand for bandwidth is growing here strongly. There is a large need for heavy investment but industry profits are falling.

There is a requirement for about €2.5 billion to construct a new telecoms infrastructure in Ireland to allow access to, for example, high-definition TV. Mobile mast infrastructure and fibre optic cabling are necessary components.

Please Mr Gilmore, could you commission an instruction document in plain English to encourage a little vertebral fibre among your officer class. Win the next war and forget about the last one. I am only trying to be helpful, honestly!

If you think this is abstruse, ask your crowd about the circus over the mobile mast at Glasnevin Avenue Advance Tyres or about ditto now above the Quarry House Pub on Ballygall Road East. Don’t be fobbed off by guff on planning. Just ask them what are they doing to ensure high quality telecoms for all citizens in Dublin North West. Leave Dessie Ellis to get scared of nonexistent cancer risks.

Labour has to be serious about the task of national recovery when the country is on a ventilator powered by German nuclear fuel – the Euro.

Finally Mr Gilmore, good speech in Galway but dream on sunshine. Taoiseach? You have to be kidding.