Rabbitte: North-South interconnector of 'huge strategic importance'
The energy minister Pat Rabbitte says there is an "urgent" need for a new power line in the north-east - even if it means new pylons.
Mr Rabbitte, who is the minister responsible for the electricity network, has told the Dáil that the North-South interconnector is vital to secure the energy supply on both sides of the border.
The project is currently being reviewed by an expert panel, which is due to finalise its terms of reference this week.
He says the group could still recommend putting the line underground, but that either way the project must proceed as soon as possible.
Mr Pat Rabbitte said: "There is an urgency about the North-South interconnector. It's a very small piece of interconnection but of huge strategic importance.
"It is only about 40kms running from Meath to Tyrone, and it's significance can't be overstated."