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Demonstrating the benefits of 'new' electricity.

Throwing light on rural electrification

THEN There Was Light, a radio documentary and a book, is a project that has been initiated by the ESB to mark the 70 years since the commencement of the Rural Electrification Scheme.

The book promises to be a unique collection of stories by people recalling their memories and experiences of the Rural Electrification Scheme and will provide a valuable snapshot of the time Ireland left the dark ages by allowing power and light into the midst of even the most remote communities.

The stories for the collection and radio programme are expected to provide a frank insight into the suspicions, worries and welcome the ESB’s light brigade faced as they began work on one of the most important undertakings in recent Irish history. The stories encapsulate and preserve the approach of a previous generation as it came to terms with the prospect of rapidly changing rural lifestyles.

The collection and editing for the book and documentary is being undertaken by authors and editors Joe Kearney and PJ Cunningham.

To submit a story or memory, email rural@esb.ie. All stories received will be considered for inclusion in the radio documentary and book and all contributions, whether in the book anthology or radio documentary or not, will be preserved in the ESB archives as items of living history to assist future researchers and academic work.

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