REVOLT opposing unnecessary, excessive and intrusive powerline development

opposing unnecessary, excessive
and intrusive powerline development

REVOLT Newsletter 342

Revolt news 10/10/2011 Print (pdf) Version

Please note URGENT item #9 below for people in Northern Ireland.

1. Teresa Treacy (news341) has been released from jail Thu 6 Oct after lawyers from ESB and Eirgrid asked for the order committing her to prison to be discharged. Ms Justice Laffoy said Ms Treacy had been in prison for 24 days and the punitive element of the order had been fulfilled. The court was told that 85% of the trees that the ESB and Eirgrid needed to cut down on the land had been felled. She discharged the order and told Ms Treacy that she was free to go home. Amid chaotic scenes outside, Ms Treacy said she was glad to be going home, but she said she was "not letting them through".

2. The Teresa Treacy case continues to excite comment on indymedia and elsewhere. Naturally enough, the debate sometimes tends to polarise into ‘anarchy’ versus ‘tyranny’! Who started this disproportionate polarisation? It is reported that the jailing judge Justice Herbert said that Teresa was a citizen who was setting herself up against the Constitution and if she was allowed to get away with it "we may as well sink into anarchy”.

3. So is it proportionate to talk of sinking into anarchy? Teresa’s action was solely defensive in relation to her own property and did not seek to impose upon anyone else. The consequences of her refusal of an overhead line, while accepting buried cables, would not affect rule over anyone else but would imply some further thought and negotiation to address the specific problem. There need not even be any added cost to the public electricity service (see below). Would that be sinking into anarchy? Dictionary definitions and general usage of the term anarchy suggests something stronger and more widespread than this limited instance of defensive resistance. The judge rather trivialises the term for dramatic effect and exaggerates his case. Therefore the judge’s comment seems disproportionate and unreasonable, and might be argued to be aggressive against the defendant. Could this be a case for judicial review, even after the release, seeking a stronger remedy?

4. One solution which might defend the constitution, the common interest and individual rights, while being proportionate, would be to share the added cost of undergrounding a short section. It is reported that 150,000 euros were offered to Teresa Treacy to agree to an overhead line. The same sum might instead contribute to the extra cost of undergrounding, with Teresa Treacy finding the balance, helped by a public fundraising appeal to help. That would be constructive and proportionate. In the absence of prior pursuit of such possibilities, can Justice Herbert’s decision to jail Teresa Treacy be considered proportionate or reasonable? The public would think not. That jailing decision should perhaps be retrospectively reviewed, like the Order before it, and with proper impartiality.

5. The Daily Mail Online in London covered the Teresa Treacy story 18 Sep. There would seem to be an obvious prima facie sense of shock and injustice which carries beyond national boundaries.

6. The IPC newsletter of Oct 2011 updates the position of projects for England & Wales. The next major National Grid powerline projects with project numbers and expected application dates are: 11 Kings Lynn B (2.8km), Oct 2011; 14 Thorpe Marsh, Doncaster (0.5km), 31-10-11; 24 East Thurrock, Essex (short), Q1 2012; 28 North London (upgrade), early 2012; 38 Bramford-Twinstead (25-30km), 1-10-12; 48 Hinkley-Seabank, 2013; 49 Mid Wales (NG), 2013; 50 Mid Wales (SPEN), 2013;

7. Patrick McGinnity from Northern Ireland reported 4-10-11 on the Teresa Treacy case: The Irish Daily Mail had another one page article on the subject yesterday and also printed three long letters on the case including mine. The same paper had two letters on the subject today. All five letters supported Teresa. RTE television did a special feature on Teresa tonight on "Prime Time". It included an interview with her from Mounjoy jail by telephone. There were also interviews with two local farmers whose land was also affected by the powerline, a university expert, Eirgrid Director of Strategic Planning and Corporate Affairs Mr Michael Walsh and "People Before Profit Alliance" TD, Mr Richard Boyd Barrett.

8. Andrew Hope draws attention to National Grid’s Offshore Development Information Statement (ODIS) 2011 which came out 30 September. More on that later.

9. Northern Ireland group SEAT calls for objectors to attend the Planning Appeals Commission (PAC) pre-inquiry meeting at Armagh City Hotel on Wednesday, 12th October 2011.

Statements made by the editor or by other parties and quoted for information do not necessarily represent the views of Revolt. Criticism of government and industry, and grievances from members of the public, are in the nature of Revolt's work, though we try to give credit where it is due. Revolt is strictly non-party-political and regrets any offence which may be inadvertently caused.




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