"This is one of the most important stories of it's kind in Europe."
CONTEMPT PROCEEDINGS are being brought against an Offaly woman who the ESB and Eirgrid claim refuses to comply with High Court orders allowing them access to her land to complete the construction of a power line.
Yesterday at the High Court the ESB and Eirgrid lodged contempt proceedings against Teresa Treacy of Woodfield House, Clonmore, Tullamore.
They claim that earlier this week Ms Treacy, in breach of a number of previous court orders, prevented them from gaining access to her land by locking gates to her property and by standing in front of the lock when ESB workers tried to cut it.
Mr Justice Kevin Feeney, who granted the ESB/Eirgrid permission to bring the contempt proceedings, made the matter returnable before the court next Monday.
The application was made on an ex-parte (one side only) basis.
The High Court heard Ms Treacy, who was not present in court yesterday, has denied the ESB/Eirgrid access because she fears trees on her property will be damaged.
Yesterday Michael Conlon, for ESB/Eirgrid, said Teresa Treacy was “emotionally attached to her forestry”.
Counsel said in July Ms Justice Mary Laffoy granted ESB/Eirgrid orders against Teresa and her sister Mary allowing them to carry out works on the Treacys’ land.
While his clients were initially allowed onto the land, gates on the property were subsequently locked preventing any work from being carried out.
Counsel said his clients, who do not want to see anyone jailed, returned to the High Court in August and secured an order allowing it to open the locks on the gates and enter the lands.
Earlier this week when workers tried to cut open the locks, Teresa Treacy stood in front of the locks and refused to let the workers onto the lands.
Counsel said Teresa Treacy has also informed local gardaí she is prepared to go to jail rather than allow the ESB and Eirgrid access to her lands.
She has previously claimed before the court that the 100-acre property where she and her sister Mary reside is a place of natural beauty and wants the power line to be put underground.
The ESB said it was unable to do that.