GROWTH IN IRELAND means stringing more power lines and wherever there are trestles without cables, you can bet there's copper somewhere nearby. You can normally find giant bales of cable containing thick copper cores. Some of these tightly-wound cable reels have appeared in the back of Transit vans traveling in front of my home in County Tipperary. I saw an unmarked garda car stop one driver to inspect the contents. Used copper has excellent resale value. The copper market helps the booming Chinese and Indian construction industries, pushing the price for the commodity from €820 a tonne four years ago to more than €5000 a tonne today. In Ireland, you can often collect a tonne of copper wherever three or more power line trestles stand unwired, like those in the photo at left.
Barbara McMahon -- "No copper anywhere" in The Observer, 23 December 2007.