Growing opposition to local ‘5G testbed’

SIR, — I am writing to add my voice to the growing chorus of objection to the news that Newry, Mourne and Down Council is seeking to use ratepayers’ money to create a “5G testbed” in Northern Ireland. 

The council does not appear to have given any consideration to the potential risks to the health of the people or the environment in any so-called “testbed” area.

I am particularly disgusted by the response from council officers to councillors’ concerns about being “guinea pigs” for an experimental technology. 

A council official recently reassured elected representatives that under the consortium arrangement, the testbed could be in a different council area.

It is wholly unacceptable that councillors who are worried about having 5G in their own areas can approve £10,000 of ratepayers’ money for testing it on other people instead

While the government — and now our local councils –  seem hell bent on pushing through this technology at all costs, more and more doctors and scientists are calling for an urgent halt. Hundreds of the most respected experts in the field have signed a letter calling for an urgent moratorium. 

In their appeal letter, they state that “research has convincingly confirmed serious health risks from wireless technology” and that current safety guidelines are “obsolete, misleading and that safety guidelines protect industry — not health”. 

Harmful effects include “increased cancer risk, cellular stress, increase in harmful free radicals, genetic damages, structural and functional changes of the reproductive system, learning and memory deficits, neurological disorders, and negative impacts on general well-being in humans. Damage goes well beyond the human race, as there is growing evidence of harmful effects to both plants and animals.” (

I don’t know about anybody else but I’m certainly not a guinea pig. 

Our government might be intent on ignoring the elephant in the room, but what about our councils? The fact is, there now a body of over 10,000 peer reviewed studies which demonstrate the harm that this 

technology can cause and which shows that children and pregnant women are even more vulnerable to its damaging effects. 

Are those elected to serve us prepared to put our health, their own health and the wellbeing of the most vulnerable in our communities on the line or will they do their duty and apply the precautionary principle? 

Yours etc,


(Name and address supplied).