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New hope for release of OAP in pylons row

A pensioner who was jailed for not allowing electricity pylons to be erected on her land could soon be meeting with Eirgrid and the ESB to resolve the standoff.

Teresa Treacy (65) was sent to Mountjoy Prison on September 13 for contempt of court when she repeatedly prevented contractors from cutting down trees on her property to build a power line, and was today still behind bars at the jail.

Ms Treacy's family has revealed that she was prepared to continue her protest for weeks and would encourage her supporters to set up camp on her land in Clonmore, near Tullamore, Co Offaly, to prevent workers from felling trees.

The ESB and Eirgrid have contacted Ms Treacy's family in an attempt to solve the argument and a meeting between the two parties is said to be on the cards. It was reported in the Irish Times this morning that Eirgrid have said the width of the project could be reduced from 60 to 30 metres and they could re-route part of the line and reduce the number of trees being cut down

The company has also suggested replanting species such as dogwood and blackthorn in the area where trees have been felled.







Violated

One of Ms Treacy's supporters, former Clinic star Rachel Pilkington, compared the forest on Miss Treacy's 150-acre site to "a beloved relation", and explained why Teresa has refused for the past six years to let the ESB and Eirgrid erect power lines on her land.

"She genuinely believed her rights were being violated," the actress wrote. "She cultivated that land with her own two hands, for her home, a sanctuary, a last refuge in a material world." Frames frontman Glen Hansard is also backing the protest.

hnews@herald.ie