Monday 11 December 2017

Grieving gran (64) jailed six weeks after sister's death

Sarah Theelin (82)
Sarah Theelin (82)

A GRIEVING grandmother was jailed on the six-week anniversary of her sister's death.

The family of Catherine Teeling say they are shocked and devastated after the 64-year-old was sent to The Dochas centre for failing to pay fines.

Just six weeks ago, Ms Teeling buried her 82-year-old sister Sadie who fell from her apartment while trying to clean her windows.



Ms Teeling discovered Sadie's body in the courtyard of the Avondale House complex in the north inner city.

But Ms Teeling now faces a lengthy stint behind bars for non-payment of €4,000 worth of fines dating back years.

Gardai arrested the mother-of-one at her apartment yesterday morning.

Ms Teeling's devastated daughter, Audrey, broke down as she pleaded with the authorities to show compassion.

"My mam has not been able to get over the moment she found her sister lying dead on the pavement," Audrey said.

"Sadie died just six weeks ago. My mam is still very much in the grieving process.

"She's in no fit state to be in jail. I'm begging Alan Shatter to intervene and let her out without delay.

"I was sitting with her when two gardai arrived at the door and took her away. She was in her pyjamas; it was devastating.

"Her two grandkids are asking: 'Where's Granny?' I don't know what to tell them."

Ms Teeling's fines date back several years and relate to breaches of casual trading laws involving tobacco.

Her daughter fears that she won't be able to cope inside prison given her mental frailty.

"She's in a terrible way after Sadie died, we all are," a tearful Audrey said last night.

"She needs to be helped get over the death of her sister, not locked up in jail," she added.



Independent councillor Christy Burke has contacted the prison authorities in an attempt to try to bring about her release.

"This is not the type of person we should be locking up. She is a decent, genuine woman who is just trying to get through a very difficult time.

"If the authorities have any compassion, they will realise this and release her."

The Prison Service said it could not comment on individual cases.


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