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THE jailing of Teresa Treacy for refusing to allow the ESB to cut down her trees is an all-time low for Irish democracy.
Ms Treacy has committed no crime and poses no threat to anyone, but she is now languishing in Mountjoy jail simply because the ESB is unwilling to follow the lead of other European nations and place their high voltage cables underground. The ESB is totally out of order in using such a heavy-handed approach which has resulted in this innocent woman being sent to jail for simply protecting the trees on her land. They could easily have put the voltage lines underground which would have made much more sense from both a public health and environmental perspective.
Instead, the ESB has tried to railroad its high voltage overhead line through Ms Treacy’s property without care for her welfare or the environment. They may think they’ve won this battle but Ms Treacy’s courage has lit a flame which will keep burning.
On December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus because she was tired of the iron hand of oppression. Ms Treacy stands proud in this noble company. The courage she has shown will inspire thousands of others to stand firm against the ESB when they try to force their north-south interconnector through counties Monaghan, Cavan and Meath. The ESB might yet regret that Teresa Treacy went to jail.
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