EIRGRID and the ESB have offered jailed pensioner Teresa Treacy a compromise which would see only 50% of the original figure of her trees cut down, in an effort to end the stalemate.
A spokesperson for the ESB said what has been proposed is a reduced cutting of the plantation area, from 14 acres to seven. Also the corridor has been narrowed from 60 metres to 30 metres. They said nearer to Ms Treacy’s home, it has also been proposed to alter the planning permission to reduce the amount of cutting there also.
The ESB and Eirgrid have also planned to replant smaller trees under the power line.
The spokesperson said that only one and half acres remains to be cut to allow for the continuation of the power line, which the ESB said it 95% complete.
The spokesperson said the proposals had been agreed and developed with a local IFA representative and Ms Treacy’s family.
“We are keen to avoid conflict. We accept it’s a compromise. We are committed to getting this resolved,” said the spokesperson.
They added that the proposal had been put to Ms Treacy through her family and they will be looking to meet with her to make sure there is no misunderstanding in relation to what is being offered.
Ms Treacy’s family issued a statement saying; “The Treacy family is extremely distressed and disappointed that our sister and aunt Teresa remains in jail. Teresa or any other landowner should never be put in jail for a power-line project. The family, with the support of IFA are working to identify solutions which we hope will lead to the immediate release of Teresa.
“With the help of everybody we hope that all will work together to implement any solutions identified.
“We have no further comment at this time.”
Over 100 people gathered at ESB headquarters in Dublin yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon protesting against Teresa’s imprisonment.
Tullamore native Cormac Lally was among them. He said although negotiations had taken place between Teresa’s family and the IFA “only one person can negotiate for Teresa” and that was her herself.
He said Ms Treacy was still adamant that the lines would be laid underground.
Mr Lally claims that Ms Treacy offered to forgo the compensation offered by the company, if they agreed not to have any poles on her land, and to instead put the money into underground cables.
“There can be no negotiations until she is out of prison. She is very upset and anxious and lonely for her land but she is resolute. She is determined not to be bullied,” said Mr Lally.
“This is profit at any cost. The cost of this is a pensioner in jail,” Mr Lally added.
Meanwhile Laois Offaly Deputy Charlie Flanagan raised the matter in the Dail last week.
“I know the Minister of State will not make reference to a particular case but this woman should be released and the State should immediately set about facilitating mediation with the ESB. It is cruel, inhumane, wrong and getting nowhere. This woman should not be in jail while criminals walk free. I urge the Minister of State to take appropriate action.
“How can the Minister of State justify the imprisonment of anyone who stands committed of no crime, who is guilty of no criminal damage, who has paid all just debts and taxes and has been a law-abiding citizen over the years? How can she justify my constituent being imprisoned for 16 days, and that imprisonment continuing indefinitely? Is it possible for the Minister of State to facilitate a form of mediation or conciliation on the basis that the woman involved stands indicted of committing no crime in this jurisdiction?” said Deputy Flanagan.
Elsewhere the United Left Alliance who attended the protest in Dublin yesterday (Tuesday) has also called for her release.
“It is a scandal that a 65 year old woman who has worked all her life can be jailed at the behest of a semi state company who want to erect a power line across her property.
“The double standard whereby time and again whether it is the bin tax campaign or Shell to Sea to Teresa’s situation we see that ordinary people standing up for themselves can find themselves landed in jail in a matter of days whereas the crooked bankers and speculators roam free.
“We call on ESB to apply to the court to have Teresa released and for a workable solution be found to reroute the power line,” said the group in a statement.
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