Dáil Éireann - Volume 399 - 30 May, 1990
Written Answers. - Tower Height Discrepancy.
Mr. Gilmore Mr. Gilmore
27. Mr. Gilmore asked the Minister for Communications, given that his Department's booklet on MMDS states  that a safety factor will be the tower heights of 30 metres or almost 100 feet, if he will outline the discrepancy in the proposed Cork communications tower height as expressed in the planning application (details supplied) of 21 metres.
Minister for Communications (Mr. Burke) Minister for Communications (Mr. Burke)
Minister for Communications (Mr. Burke): This is primarily a planning matter. The booklet published by my Department is intended as a guide to MMDS for the general public. The references to tower heights in the booklet are generalisations rather than specifications. My Department expects most MMDS operators to maximise coverage from their transmitters by siting them as high as possible.
The technical conditions to which MMDS operators must adhere do not specify a minimum height. Transmitter antenna heights are limited to those heights necessary to give adequate coverage of the area within range of the transmitter. Operators are also required to adhere to guidelines laid down by the international non-ionising radiation committee of the International Radiation Protection Association — IRPA — on the limits to exposure to radio frequency magnetic fields in the frequency range 100 kilohertz to 300 gigahertz. A tower height of 21 metres would not necessarily conflict with the requirements to observe IRPA guidelines.
 I understand that the operator concerned commissioned an independent study of the levels of radio frequency radiation which would be emitted from the installation in question. The study has shown that even when making very pessimistic assumptions, the maximum level of exposure of humans is over 100 times lower than the levels considered safe by the IRPA. I understand that the study has been made available to Cork County Council.
Dáil Éireann 399 Written Answers. Tower Height Discrepancy.