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Planning granted for Old Head transatlantic cable landing station

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BEAUTY SPOT Old Head beach, Louisburgh.

Anton McNulty


MAYO County Council have granted planning permission for a cable landing station at Old Head as part of a Facebook and Google-backed transatlantic telecoms cable.
The line is part of a Havfrue high-speed telecoms cable which will connect New Jersey in the US with Sweden with spurs running to Ireland and Norway. The spur to Ireland will come ashore at Old Head in Louisburgh and last week Mayo County Council granted planning permission for a single storey cable landing station at the location.
The application was made by America Europe Connect 2 Ltd, a subsidiary of Irish communications specialist Aquacomms, who stated that the cable landing station will be the interface between trans-Atlantic sub-sea cable and the terrestrial network in Ireland. The cable landing station will have banks of electronic equipment and will be un-manned.
There was only one objection to the application, which came from a Mr P Smyth with an address in Harold’s Cross in Dublin. In his objection, he said he was a frequent visitor to Mayo and ‘particularly to this beautiful location where I find peace and solitude from this busy world’.
“Surely Mayo County Council won’t allow this concrete yard and structure to be built. I strongly object to this development on the grounds of unsuitability, proximity to Oldhead Wood SAC. There is no visual image of the proposed concrete yard and structure and there is no proper explanation on the proposed use of the building,” he wrote.
Aquacomms are currently seeking a foreshore licence from the Government for the undersea communications cable which will come ashore at Old Head. Tech giants Facebook and Google are partners in the project along with Aquacomms and Norwegian company, Bulk, which builds data centres and telecommunications networks.
The project in Mayo is expected to cost €7.5 million and the cables will carry voice, data, videos, pictures and other telecoms messages between the two continents.

Public meeting on Clare Island
A public meeting to discuss local concerns over the proposed laying of a fibre optic cable in Clew Bay will be held on Clare Island this Saturday.
It follows on from a meeting organised by the Clare Island Fishermen’s group held on the island on February 1.
The meeting will take place at 12 noon in the Library in Clare Island Community Centre. All are welcome.