Erne Generating Stations anniversary celebrations

AS the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the River Erne Generating Stations at Cliff and Cathaleen’s Fall, the ESB recently held a special dinner to recognise its long-service employees.
Officially opened by the Taoiseach of the time, Séan Lemass, in October 1952, the building of the dams on the Erne between Belleek and Ballyshannon was the biggest construction project in Europe when it began in October 1952. Since then, the stations have powered tens of thousands of homes across the area.
A number of events and activities have been organised to mark the anniversary, including an art and photographic exhibition at Dorrian’s Imperial Hotel in Ballyshannon last week. The exhibition, which includes old photos of the stations, is set to go on tour in the coming months, with an upcoming stop at Fermanagh County Museum. Further details on when will be announced in due course.
Last week, those who have worked at the stations gathered at The Sandhouse Hotel in Rossnowlagh for a special dinner, along with their families, for a night of nostalgia.
The ESB said it would also be donating to a number of local organisations to mark the anniversary, in recognition of the contribution the local community has made to their success. This will include the Fermanagh Trust, as well as other charities and groups in Ballyshannon and Bundoran.
John Gallagher, ESB plant manager of the Erne Stations, said for the past 70 years the stations had been deeply embedded in the local community. Noting how many homes had been powered by the stations over the years, he said the stations were now helping pave the way for a greener future.
“The River Erne hydroelectric stations were both constructed between 1946 and 1955, in its time, the project was the largest construction project in Europe. Cliff can generate enough power to supply over 12,000 homes while Cathaleen’s Fall can deliver power for around 26,000 homes,” he said.
“A major refurbishment programme was carried out between 2009 and 2016, ensuring the stations will continue to play an important role to provide clean electricity in line with ESB’s Net Zero by 2040 strategy.”

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