West Donegal ESB stations

Published in Issue 4 (July/August 2015), Letters, Volume 23

A chara,—I am researching the construction of two electricity stations in west Donegal in the 1950s and would be delighted if your readers could help me. Construction of the ESB Clady hydroelectric and the Meenacung turf station began around 1953–4 and both stations were commissioned in 1958. The general contractor for the Clady scheme was Malachy Burke Construction of Galway. A number of Italian companies handled the sub-contracts: Construction Machine Heads Riva SpA; Ercole Marelli & C, SpA.; Magrini, SpA. The contractors for the turf station were Brown Boveri and Walther of Germany. Irish companies carried out some of the smaller sub-contracts. Malachy Burke Construction brought employees from the west and other parts of Ireland. They stayed in local lodgings and worked alongside local men, including my own father. Others travelled from Germany and Italy—with permission of the Irish authorities—and also lived locally. A number of them found the quiet rural lifestyle somewhat difficult! If you were involved in any way in these projects, I would love to hear your story, whether you live in Ireland or abroad. I would also like to hear from anyone who fished on the Clady River before or during that period and who has interesting stories or knowledge of how the hydro scheme affected the river at the time. If you worked on these schemes (or you know someone who did), please write to the address below or email me if you want to share your memories. I am interested in anything that gives a sense of what life was like in what was then a remote part of Ireland: contemporary photographs, personal documents such as contracts, pay slips, letters or receipts. Any items entrusted to me will be treated with the greatest care and returned safely to their owners.—Is mise,

81 Belmont Park
Dublin 5


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