Irish Land Owner Jailed for Defending His Land

From the Irish Times:

A LANDOWNER has been jailed for two weeks for contempt of court orders restraining him from interfering with work on an €80 million electricity line project in Co Sligo.

Patrick Mullen was told he would serve the two-week term unless he purged his contempt, apologised and undertook not to interfere with the works being carried out on lands owned by him.

And

The court was told that despite orders issued last February requiring Mr Mullen not to interfere with the works, and warnings that he would face jail if he did, he repeatedly went on to the lands at Carrowmaclenay, Ballymote, with his tractor to try to prevent completion of work on three pylons.

The pylons are part of the Flagford in Roscommon to Srananagh in Sligo high-voltage line and work on them is expected to be completed within two weeks.

The ESB and Eirgrid brought contempt proceedings and sought committal orders following a number of alleged incidents involving Mr Mullen since last January.

It was alleged he used round bales of hay to prevent access to the pylons and cut a fuel cable to a generator used to provide floodlighting at night for security personnel brought in by the electricity companies to protect the site.

And

Asked if he was prepared to abide by the court order, Mr Mullen said: “Once again, no.”

Mr Justice Murphy told Mr Mullen he had received part compensation of €31,000 from the ESB some years ago to allow the work to take place and had not repaid that money. Mr Mullen said he was prepared to repay it and said it was given “under false pretences”.

Here is a link to the full story.