AN RTÉ broadcasting mast that had been towering over East Clare for half a century on top of Maghera Mountain is no more, as the final parts of the mast were taken off site this week.
Erected in 1963, the mast created local employment through the building of a state-of-the-art roadway and created a buzz of activity with RTÉ crews coming and going.
Councillor Pat Hayes recalls stories about the opening of the mast and how it was a tourist attraction for a number of years.
“Now that it is gone, it is a historic occasion. All of the RTÉ masts have been removed. Life has changed in the whole area since RTÉ first started with television. There were no objections to the mast at that time. In actual fact, my father [P Joe Hayes] and Paddy Canny played at the opening of the mast and played live above on it. We spent a lot of time going up there as kids. It was a tourist attraction. A fleet of RTÉ drivers were up on our road all the time,” he said.
He added that the technicians working on the mast were often sought out when the Hayes’ family television was in need of repair and they would often travel up the three miles to the mast with their telly in hand and return with the problem rectified.
Retention permission has now been sought by RTÉ Transmission Network Ltd for the eight old concrete stay blocks. The reason for doing so has been cited on the planning file as construction of new stay blocks surrounding bog lands encountered some damage and in order to avoid further damage to the bog by access traffic the organisation said they would like to leave the old anchor blocks intact.