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Dublin: 12 °C Thursday 17 October, 2019
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Teresa Treacy released from prison

The Offaly woman had been jailed three weeks ago for contempt of court after she refused to allow ESB and Eirgrid to construct a power line on her land.

Teresa Treacy on her property before she was jailed
Teresa Treacy on her property before she was jailed

LANDOWNER TERESA TREACY has been released from prison but she did not purge her contempt of court for trying to stop workers from ESB and Eirgrid laying an overground power line on her land in Co Offaly.

Treacy had been held at Mountjoy Prison for the past three weeks after she refused to allow workers from ESB and Eirgrid to cut down trees in order to build electricity pylons on her land in Clonmore, near Tullamore, Co Offaly.

The dispute led to protesters demonstrating outside ESB’s offices in Dublin yesterday whilst supporters in Clonmore have attempted to stop ESB and Eirgrid from proceeding with the work on site. As many as eight acres of trees are still to be felled on the land.

More than 4,000 people signed an online petition calling for the 65-year-old woman to be released from prison.

The two utility companies have released a statement this afternoon saying that they sought her release from Mountjoy:

ESB and EirGrid today sought the release of Ms. Teresa Treacy to facilitate an appropriate environment for further discussions to resolve matters around the construction of the Cushaling-Thornsberry 110kV Line.

Intensive efforts have been taking place with Ms. Treacy’s family and the IFA to resolve the situation. However, Ms. Treacy’s release will enable further dialogue with her and her family to reach a mutually agreeable solution.

We remain committed to the completion of the project, which is critical to providing a safe, secure and reliable electricity system for the Midlands region.

The Teresa Treacy Support Group welcomed the decision describing it as “unexpected”.

A spokesperson for the group said that Treacy would now be making her way home from Dublin and would be meeting with family, supporters and legal advisers this evening to discuss the next step.

It’s understood that Treacy is considering an appeal to the Supreme Court against the underlying order that currently allows the pylons to be constructed.

The spokesperson told TheJournal.ie: “We will meet with Teresa tonight. She is still extremely definite in her stance.

“The only way cables will be coming in is if they are underground. We’ll meet tonight and decide where to go from there.”

Read: Protesters mass at ESB offices over Teresa Treacy jailing >

Read: Thousands sign petition to free jailed woman Teresa Treacy >

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About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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