Memories of Rural Electrification
MM: I don’t think so. I think that if anyone that’s under 50 now heard me talking, they’d be saying, “Oh, that one must be a hundred years old”.
MO: That one must be living in the dark ages!
MM: Yeah, that those things could never have happened.
MO: Well, you think it’s better for them ones now, that never went through any hardship and grow up just with the flick of a switch everywhere.
MM: Well, I suppose it’s better for them, Mary, but this is why I suppose they weren’t able to cope with the recession as well as people of my age. Because we were reared with not having a lot and we appreciated what we had. Whereas the young people are born with it and they find it very hard to accept if there is a go-slow for them, yes.
Maura McGuinness interviewed by Mary O’Reilly in Castlebar, County Mayo, December 2016
More than 60 intergenerational interviews were carried out across the country for this exhibition by Dr. Sorcha O’Brien and volunteer interviewers, many organised through the Irish Countrywomen’s Association (ICA). Those interviewed include women who remember rural electrification and ESB staff who worked on the project.
Tell us about your memories of rural electrification.
We want to hear your stories about the coming of electricity to rural Ireland. You can contribute to ongoing research about the impact of rural electrification on women’s lives by adding your memories to the Our Irish Heritage website.
Check out when your area was electrified on this interactive map from the ESB archives