Deirdre Brennan of the famous musical Brennan family of Clannad was speaking as work commenced on the huge 110KV volt line project from Killybegs to Gaoth Dobhair.
Ms Brennan, who is part of the Alternatives To Pylons (ALT) Campaign, said the fight against the pylons would now be intensified.
“There are many alternatives to these overground pylons but they are simply not being investigated by the ESB or EirGrid.
“What is stopping them putting this network underground like is being done in so many other countries? If it works for them, why couldn’t it work in Donegal,” she asked.
She added that many areas on which the network was going through including Gweebarra and Gaoth Dobhair had been designated Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) but that this was now being ignored by the Government.
“We are continuing to meet with landowners to inform them what signing over their land will mean to them in future.
She added that many concerned residents and landowners are only now realising the impact the line will have on their lives.
“It may be eleven years on the go but people are realising now how unsightly these pylons will be in what is one of the most beautiful parts of the country.
“Of course we are not giving up our campaign just because they have started work. There will be more meetings and people always have the right to object,” she said.
Many top musicians including Brian Kennedy, Paul Brady and Clannad have already come out against he plan.
But the ESB claim the new upgrade is vital for the electricity network across Donegal.
The project received planning permission from An Bord Pleanála in 2009 and will hopefully be completed by 2013.
EirGrid Project Manager, Peter Graham, said the line is vital to help the electricity supply across the county.
“This is vital for County Donegal. Having a secure electricity supply will increase Donegal’s potential to attract investment.
“Specifically, in the areas of Killybegs, Kilcar, Gweedore and Derrybeg we are at the point where new industry requiring large electrical supplies cannot be connected without this project.”
“Investment in energy infrastructure is every bit as essential as investment in road, rail and broadband.
“Donegal needs to be able to guarantee potential investors in the region that their business will be able to operate safely and securely at all times. Without this new line, such a guarantee is not possible.”
The construction is being carried out by ESB Network staff based in Donegal, supplemented by local contractors and suppliers.
Minister of State for Rural Affairs, Dinny McGinley TD, also gave the project his seal of approval.
“This is a much needed piece of infrastructure.
“As all of us from the county know, Donegal has been badly hit by this recession. We must have the necessary infrastructure in place if we are to attract and maintain jobs and investment.
“I am particularly pleased that local contractors and suppliers are being employed by ESB Networks during the construction phase, providing much needed local employment,” he said.