AFTER spending three weeks in Mountjoy Teresa Treacy was free to walk among the trees she cherishes so much this week.
Last Thursday lawyers for the ESB and Eirgrid asked that Ms Treacy be released from prison to facilitate an appropriate environment for further discussions to resolve matters around the construction of the Cushaling - Thornsberry 110kV Line.
In a statement they said intensive efforts had 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.
“ESB and EirGrid are very pleased that Ms Treacy is returning to her family after what has been a difficult time for them,” they said.
It’s hoped that Ms Treacy will meet with the ESB within the next week to hold discussions over their future plans for her land.
Last weekend a special “Camp Teresa” was held on Ms Treacy’s land, where over two days, up to 150 visited to meet her and with other supporters.
Cormac Lally, Spokesperson for the Teresa Treacy Support Group, said Teresa was delighted to see everyone.
He said the weekend gave her an opportunity to sit down with people. “She was so happy to see all the people on her land doing positive work. She has invited them to stay for as long as possible to prevent the ESB from muscling in,” said Mr Lally.
He said Ms Treacy is gaunt and has visibly lost weight during her time in prison, but her determination has not wavered. “She is resolute and determined,” he said.
“We want the ESB to know this isn’t going away,” Mr Lally stressed.
During the weekend Teresa met with some children who gave her presents including paintings. One read “Teresa, we will always stand by you and your trees”.
Mr Lally said the group was overwhelmed with the amount of people who travelled to join them over the weekend.
Some gave nature walks, some gave forage walks where edible plants and mushrooms were discovered, while others gave ash spoon carving demonstrations and constitutional awareness classes.
He said as well as meeting with the ESB the group plan to meet this week with the Cobh and Bantry Action Groups as well as with a legal team.
Earlier this week a holly tree was planed at the Broadford Community Woodland in Limerick by Ted Cooke.
It was planted according to the charity’s PRO Andrew St Ledger “to honour Teresa Treacy’s environmental citizenship.
Meanwhile Laois Offaly Deputy John Whelan has accused some of Teresa Treacy’s supporters of underhanded behaviour. “Sinister elements have now jumped on the bandwagon and are deliberately misrepresenting the Teresa Treacy case for their own political advantage and ulterior motives. These people are even worse than Eirgrid in their cynical manipulation of this issue and it suits them to have a martyr to further their own selfish ends.
“These ready-to-go protestors are blackguarding Teresa Treacy and also damage the cause of reasonable objectors with legitimate concerns here and elsewhere. Some of these protestors appear to draw their authority from Marx – Groucho Marx – ‘Whatever it is, I’m against it!’. It takes more than wearing an open neck shirt in the Dail or a woolly hat in the woods to make you a friend of the earth or a genuine environmentalist. Therefore it is only fair that for the record it’s stated that the trees in question in the Tullamore dispute are a commercial crop, predominantly evergreens, planted with the assistance of grants for the purpose of being felled and harvested.
“This is not the Glen of the Downs, a ‘Watership Down’ and there is no Bambi or a sensitive habitat at stake as has been contrived by certain elements whose reckless actions are only serving to keep Theresa Treacy in jail, rather than sincerely seeking solutions which would see her released from this terrible stressful ordeal,” concluded Senator Whelan.