Belfast Telegraph

Man in electricity cut-off protest

An unemployed man has chained himself to railings at ESB headquarters in protest at threats to cut off his electricity as his daughter collected her Leaving Certificate results.

Seamus Sherlock travelled from rural Limerick to central Dublin over the ESB management's refusal to accept his genuine attempts to pay 50 euro a week off outstanding bills.

The separated father-of-five had been left a 2,261 euro bill when he took over the household in June.

He borrowed more than 1,100 euro from family and friends to pay off half the debt in a lump sum and then offered to use 50 euro a week from his 196 euro social welfare to cover the rest of the bill.

The ESB initially refused to accept his payment plan and threatened to cut him off on Monday - charging Mr Sherlock another 97 euro for the warning.

"They told me they would take the rest in instalments but they wanted 150 euro every week. I get 196 euro every week," he said.

Mr Sherlock, from Newcastle-West, said the ESB has given him a three-week breathing space before finalising a new payment scheme.

"I just want the people of Ireland to know what is going on with ESB," he said after unlocking chains and meeting with ESB management.

He continued: "I went in to ask them to stop disconnecting people who are genuinely trying to pay bills."

Mr Sherlock, who shares custody of his children, said he had every confidence in his daughter Bernadette's exam successes.

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