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Dublin: 7 °C Thursday 2 October, 2014

Supporters of jailed Teresa Treacy to protest at Mountjoy

The 65-year-old was sent to prison last week for refusing to allow the ESB to cut down trees on her land.

Image: Graham Hughes/Photocall Ireland

FRIENDS AND SUPPORTERS of a 65-year-old woman jailed for refusing to allow the ESB to build a power line across her land will mount a protest outside Mountjoy Prison tomorrow.

Teresa Treacy, from Offaly, was sent to prison last week for defying a court order allowing contractors for ESB and Eirgrid to carry out work on her property. She objected to the power line because it would mean felling a substantial number of trees growing on her land at Clonmore, near Tullamore, and said the lines should be routed underground instead.

She will not be released until she purges her contempt of court – meaning allowing the work to be carried out and making an apology – or until the ESB requests that she be freed.

A spokesperson for the Teresa Treacy Support Group, which is organising the protest, told TheJournal.ie that Ms Treacy will not go back on her protest. “I got a call from Teresa in jail on Saturday. She said she has no intention of purging her contempt and she wants people to come out and support her,” he said.

The injustice is that the ESB have refused to follow European best practice in regard to the undergrounding of power lines. This was a compromise offered by Teresa Treacy as far back as 2007, but the ESB refused to budge. They have bullied an elderly lady and ultimately jailed her. It’s totally unacceptable that an elderly lady should be jailed for trying to protect a natural resource on her own land.

He said he hoped for a good turnout at the protest, which will take place tomorrow at 6pm outside the Dóchas Centre at Mountjoy, where Ms Treacy is being held. “There will be friends and neighbours of Teresa, and we’ve also been getting calls of support from people around the country,” he said.

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