Garda stand-off with pylon protesters


A HIGH Court order may be needed to remove demonstrators who have gathered on land belonging to jailed Co Offaly woman Teresa Treacy, according to a local Garda Superintendent.

Ms Treacy (65) of Woodfield House, Clonmore, Tullamore, was jailed for failing to comply with court orders permitting EirGrid and the ESB to run a power line with pylons through her property.

Determined to fight for the welfare of forestry on her land, Ms Treacy refused to purge her contempt and was taken to the Dóchas Centre at Mountjoy Prison on September 13th.

A number of demonstrators have vowed to continue the fight on her land. They claim to have permission from Ms Treacy to enter her property and demonstrate.

About 10 protesters gathered at the site early yesterday morning as workers moved in to remove trees.

Gardaí attended the scene for a number of hours but there were no arrests.

Supt John Moloney said gardaí would not remove the demonstrators without a court order. “If they want them removed they are going to have to go to the High Court and get an order,” he remarked.

Local Sinn Féin councillor Brendan Killeavy visited the site yesterday.

“I don’t think any work should continue at the site until Teresa Treacy is released from jail and allowed to sit down and talk it out,” he said.

Mr Killeavy asked why the people “who corrupted this country” were never imprisoned and yet, “there is a 65-year-old woman in jail. There has to be a better way of doing this.”

One of the demonstrators, Cormac Lally, vowed to continue protesting until Ms Treacy was freed.

“We are down at her request. She shouldn’t be in prison for a start,” he said.

“Where are the men of the country? Where are the people? Are we that dumbed down and cowed down that we allow a pensioner thrown in jail?” he asked.

The demonstrators plan to plant 100 ash trees at the site today. The trees were donated anonymously.