For almost half a century the iconic cooling tower at Bellacorick power station was the outstanding landmark on the North Mayo skyline, a beacon of industrial progress in a vast wilderness of bog. From humble beginnings, this visionary partnership between Bord na Móna and ESB transformed an economically disadvantaged area, delivering a social dividend that brought a new era of prosperity to North Mayo and Erris.

At its peak, more than 500 local were employed between the two companies, and it is estimated that over 3,000 men worked on the Bord na Móna bogs in Bellacorick and Bangor from 1952 to 2002. No industry had a bigger impact on North Mayo and its closure in 2005 left a gaping chasm that has yet to be filled.  In this definitive history of Bord na Móna and ESB in North Mayo, authors Christy Loftus & James Laffey trace the story of Bellacorick and the people who worked there from the early 1950s onwards.

Powering the West is not just a history of the involvement of Bord Na Móna and ESB in Bellacorick; it is a social record of North Mayo and Erris during the second half of the 20th century. Supported by a local committee of retired ESB/ Bord Na Móna workers, Christy Loftus and James Laffey have conducted numerous interviews and trawled through archival material to produce an authoritative. lively and engaging account of a project that revolutionised North Mayo. The book is also adorned with a series of stunning images from local photographers, including many never previously published. The history of Bellacorick is not so much about a bog and a power station as it is about people. Powering the West gives a voice to those people and captures their unique story for posterity.

Authors: Christy Loftus & James Laffey.

Christy Loftus worked in journalism with the Mayo News and the Western People for 35 years and spent eight years as Communications Advisor on the Corrib Gas project. He has done considerable research on the early years of Myo County Council and is the author of 'Kilmanjaro 2003- a Spiritual Journey', a humourous account of the adventures of nine men who climbed Africa's highest mountain. He is a former President of the National Union of Journalists.

James Laffey has been editor of the Western People - the biggest selling regional newspaper in the North West - since 2004. He is the author of a number of books, including Foxford; Through the Arches of Time, Labourers in the Vineyard,and The Road to 51: The Making of Mayo Football, which won the Mc Namee Award for Best GAA Book in 2011.

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Powering the West - A History of Bord na Móna and ESB in North Mayo

  • Product Code: Christy Loftus and James Laffey
  • Availability: In Stock
  • €34.99

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