Three Ireland coverage to suffer major disruptions

Meteor customers could also be impacted when a Dublin mast comes down...

Three Ireland is being forced to remove its phone mast in Dublin's Glasnevin, with the company warning that it will mean major service disruptions for customers in Dublin, Louth and Meath.

The Irish Times is reporting that An Bord Pleanála has decided to refuse permission to retain the mast following complaints from local residents that it is "visually obtrusive".

The mast not only facilitates mobile phone coverage and 2G, 3G and 4G for Three, but also Meteor customers.

On top of that, it services five commercial operators including the Mater and the Bar Council, who will also be affected.

An Bord Pleanála received 38 separate submissions calling on the mast to be removed, chiefly from residents of the nearby Claremont and Willows housing estates who consider it to be a "considerable eyesore" which "makes a poor impression on visitors to the estates".

Some 85% of Claremont residents signed the petition for its removal, as well as 65% of homeowners from The Willows.

It has been estimated that between 65 and 150 houses in the two estates have clear views of the mast.

The current 45m mast has stood since 2003, and given renewed five-year planning permission for 12 antennas and 21 radio link dishes in 2010.

Previously, Esat Telecom had had a 20m mast on the site as far back as 1977.

Three Ireland called the site a "vital transmission hub" and argued that a "failure to maintain this installation would result in an immediate and negative impact of coverage levels in Finglas, Glasnevin and the north Dublin, Louth and Meath areas".

In a statement this morning, Three Ireland has said:

Three is disappointed with the decision by An Bórd Pleanála to refuse permission to retain this site.

"There will be no immediate impact on customers while the site remains, and Three is exploring all options to ensure that there continues to be no impact on customers".