“Ireland’s electromagnetic field policy is not to allow the electromagnetic field health issue effect the growth and prosperity of the Irish economy.”

A statement of government policy on mobile phones by Dr Tom McManus,  chief technical adviser to the Department of Communications 1993

This statement was re-quoted during an interview with Philip Boucher-Hayes of The RTE Radio Investigative Unit for a piece on The Pat Kenny radio show, entitled “Worried about Wifi” in 2008.  The broadcast highlighted the point that despite some studies saying we have nothing to fear from the radiation from mobile phone masts, there is however a growing body of scientific evidence confirming serious health implications that never receives this kind of publicity. (This report, including interviews with electrosensitivity sufferers, has since been archived by RTE but some details are available here Philip Boucher Hayes report).

The RTE Radio Investigative Unit revealed how the government’s policy has been to protect the interests of the multi-billion euro mobile phone industry, and ignore the health concerns associated with electromagnetic radiation. Currently, we are seeing this same attitude with the government’s downplaying of the valid health concerns with regard to  smart meters, 4G, 5G, pylons, powerlines and wind turbines.

RTE Report 1998 – ‘Opposition to Mobile Phone Masts’  – “What are the health implications of living next to a mobile phone mast?”. Report from people living close to mobile phone masts who experienced headaches, migraine, nausea, and pain since installation of the masts

Microwave Sickness/Electrosensitivity in Ireland

In 1998  concerned groups from across Ireland made presentations before Oireachtas Committees as noted in the Joint Committee on Public Enterprise and Transport report on Non-ionising Microwave Radiation Emissions from Communications Masts (1998). Representations from EHS sufferers were also made. &

In 2005 members of IERVN (now ES-Ireland) were represented under the auspices of the Irish Doctors Environmental Association at the Joint Oireachtas Committee of Commuications, Marine and Natural Resources, Report on Non-Ionising radiation from mobile phone handsets and masts – June 2005  (see pages 48 and 50 Dr. Elizabeth Cullen and page 54 Mr Con Colbert).   

Irish Doctors Environmental Association 2005 Report by Dr Elizabeth Cullen to the Joint Oireachtas Committee 2005

2006 Irish Doctors Environmental Association (IDEA)IDEA Sensitivity to NIR

February 2006 – Members of Irish Electromagnetic Radiation Victims Network (IERVN) recount their daily sufferings at Joint Committee on Health and Children in Leinster House

2005 Irish Doctors Environmental AssociationPosition on Electromagnetic Radiation

May 1999 –  “Gardai have called for no further mobile telephone antennae to be situated on radio masts in Garda stations and for an independent inquiry into possible health side-effects from microwave emissions. The GRA, which represents 8,500 members of garda rank, yesterday voted to oppose any further Esat Digifone antennae on Garda radio masts.The association also heard criticism of the deal struck between the Garda, Department of Justice and Esat over the siting of telephone antennae in return for the free use of mobile telephones by senior officers.

There was unanimous backing for a motion calling for no further telecommunications antennae on stations and for an independent survey of the effects of emissions.”

July 2007 – Vodafone removes mobile mast from Tipperary farmer’s field after family become sick

2008 West Dublin: Phone mast fears grow as more locals suffer cancer

Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health & Children Press Release June 2011

“In the last few days, WHO/International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as emitted by mobile phones as possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B). This is based on research which has shown that a positive association has been observed between mobile phone use and an increased risk for glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer”

“We may not truly understand the health affects of mobile phones for many years. However, research does show that using mobile phones affects brain activity. There is general consensus that children are more vulnerable to radiation from mobile phones than adults. Therefore the sensible thing to do is to adopt a precautionary approach rather than wait to have the risks confirmed.”

“There is strong evidence proving that using a mobile phone while driving increases the risk of traffic accidents. The use of a hands free kit does not significantly reduce this risk. Therefore the CMO strongly advises that all drivers should refrain from using mobile phones. Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer Department of Health

Mobile Phone Radiation Warning Bill 2011


This warning was to be placed on all mobile phones and packaging. However, the Government has not yet enacted this Bill to protect children. Why not? Mobile Phone Bill 2011 &

Ireland – The Test Bed for All Things Wireless Since 2005

Did you know that since 2005 Ireland has been used as a test bed for wireless communications and technology industries from all over the world to come here, for a small fee, to experiment with RF radiation frequencies in various areas throughout the country?  Test and Trial (ComReg) Read more here

Guidelines around placement of Mobile Phone Masts & Antennae

In 2012 the Minister of the Environment, Community and Local Government issued an update to certain sections of the Telecommunications Antennae and Support Structures Guidelines (1996) as used by the planning department.  This stated that separation distances from vulnerable places such as schools in development plans, should not now be included in applications and, conditions limiting the life of telecommunication masts and antennas should cease.  The Minister included two reminders i.e. that health grounds should not be considered as part of the planning application and that ‘all future Development Contribution Schemes must include waivers for broadband infrastructure provision …’.  The implications of these changes for local communities who might wish to object to such infrastructure was they could no longer initiate their campaign on policies quoting separation distances as a viable reason to object and, the potential that the previous temporary nature of permission had allowed in challenging application for renewal had ended.

“2.3 The Development Plan and Separation Distances The 1996 Guidelines advised that planning authorities should indicate in their development plans any locations where, for various reasons, telecommunications installations would not be favoured or where special conditions would apply, and suggested that such locations might include lands whose high amenity value is already recognised in a development plan, protected structures, or sites beside schools. While the policies above are reasonable, there has, however, been a growing trend for the insertion of development plan policies and objectives specifying minimum distances between telecommunications structures from houses and schools, e.g. up to 1km. Such distance requirements, without allowing for flexibility on a case-by-case basis, can make the identification of a site for new infrastructure very difficult. Planning authorities should therefore not include such separation distances as they can inadvertently have a major impact on the roll out of a viable and effective telecommunication network.

A further update in 2018 on the planning guidelines allow for higher structures and more antennae and dishes on masts, giving even more leeway to telecommunications companies.  Pages 5 and 6

To find out location of mobile phone antennae near you visit Comreg Site Finder. 

Who Sets The Guidelines on Ireland’s RF Exposure?

The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment is currently responsible for policy relating to the health effects of non-ionising radiation including electromagnetic fields.  They are still following outdated guidelines issued by ICNIRP (International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection) in 1998.   ICNIRP is a self appointed organisation which benefits industry rather than public health.

ICNIRP standards, used in Ireland and UK and various other countries,  were voted “out of date” & “obsolete” by the European Parliament in 2008.  These standards are not protective. They do not adhere to the Precautionary Principle and only apply to “thermal effects”, despite evidence showing that biological non-thermal effects do occur with exposure to radiation at levels thousands of times lower than standards allowed in this country.

Some governments in other countries appear to care more about their citizens and allow RF exposures below ICNIRP’s guidelines – over 40% of countries have non-ionising radiation standards more rigorous than ICNIRP.  As you will see from the graph below, Irish authorities allow for extremely high radiation exposure levels.

ICNIRP RF-page-001 (1)

The Irish Doctors Environmental Association worked for many years to raise awareness of the effects of electromagnetic radiation in Ireland. In 2005, they submitted a Report to The Joint Oireachtas Committee, expressing their concerns, particularly for with electrosensitivity.

The IDEA also contributed to The Safe Schools Report 2012, a comprehensive report from scientists, doctors and experts worldwide about the dangers of wireless technologies to our children. In  2013, they wrote to all schools in Ireland highlighting their serious concerns about the ubiquitous use of Wifi in schools and classrooms.


What’s happening in Ireland now:

The three main telecoms companies –  Eir, Vodafone, Three – are all increasing the installation of 3G and 4G masts and antennae across Ireland with the intention of increasing mobile and wireless coverage to 99% in Ireland.   (Tesco mobile,  Virgin Mobile and Lycamobile all run off Three’s network).  They all have licenses to install 5G antennae also.

ESB Telecoms are also installing masts and antennae.  Check your County Council Planning Permissions regularly for new telecommunication masts, monopoles, smart poles, addition of antennae and dishes to existing mast structures, so that you can object.

Dense Air (Airspan) are installing small cell 4G and 5G antennae

Wifi4EU & Wireless Broadband

In May 2018 Minister for Communications Denis Naughten TD welcomed the launch of the European Commission’s  WiFi4EU initiative which means public spaces across the country will get free WiFi hotspots. €120million is  available to Local Authorities under the Scheme.

59 public areas across Ireland have since been granted funding to provide free, open access Wi-Fi under a €120m European initiative called

“Local authorities across Ireland now have an opportunity to install Wi-Fi in their villages, towns and cities, in parks and hospitals, libraries and town squares, and I wish them all the best in their endeavours.” Minister for State at the Department of Rural and Community Development Seán Canney, TD.

Many private Wireless Broadband companies are already providing wifi coverage in rural areas across the country, working off mobile phone masts.  These companies are also increasing their coverage.

Smart Meters

ESB will start replacing electricity  meters with Smart Meters in Autumn 2019. Gas Networks Ireland are replacing their meters with “Smart Ready” meter, to be upgraded at a later date.  Water meters are wireless.

LED street lights are being installed across the country.  As well as the white/blue light from these being harmful to health and wildlife, some will have smart technology installed in them.  Whether they use 5G frequencies or not isn’t known, but again, if 2G, 3G, 4G, wifi or 5G, the increase in harmful wireless radiation is extremely concerning.

5G –  5th Generation

In 2017 ComReg awarded five mobile and internet service providers space on the country’s 3.6GHz spectrum, which has been identified as a primary band suitable for the introduction of 5G in Europe.

In November 2018, Vodafone deployed a new site in Dublin’s Docklands to test 5G hardware, software and services ahead of a wider roll-out of 5G mobile technology. In December, they announced plans to commence 5G wireless broadband trials at four rural locations around the country.

Imagine are rolling out 5G Ready fixed broadband across the country, in mostly rural areas.

2020, Eir are undertaking a massive upgrade programme,  to provide 99% of the country with access to high-speed 4G data and voice services, as well as upgrading many of their existing sites with 5G services.

Broadband Over Powerlines

Broadband over Powerlines (BPL) is a method of bringing broadband internet to the home or office through electrical wires coming into the building. While not wireless,  it can significantly increase Dirty Electricity in the building which itself can cause biological harm. Health concerns with Broadband over Power Lines (BPL)

Siro (ESB and Vodafone) are installing BPL in various areas in Ireland advertising it as Fibre to the Home (FTTH).

WIFI in Schools

The Irish Government and Department of Education are fully supportive of children being exposed to industrial strength wireless radiation in schools despite warnings.

There is huge opposition to the proposed installation of hundreds of pylons and overhead powerlines, and wind turbines across our countryside. These are potentially dangerous to the local environment and those living near them.   Pylons & Powerlines  Wind Turbines

Lectures given in Ireland by visiting Experts on EMFs

DR GERD OBERFELD, from Salzburg, who addressed the Irish Doctors Environmental Association (IDEA) April 2009, parallels the prediction by the Royal College of Physicians last year which predicted that half the Irish population will have “some form of cancer” by the year 2025.   Read More HERE  and HERE

BARRY TROWER –  Presentation to the Irish Doctors Environmental Association on the Danger of Microwave-Based Communications Systems (Dublin, April 2013) Read HERE