Hughie Chaitline from Min an Iolar cut the first sods of turf of the year on Friday in Upper Dore.
In the video Hughie Chaitline and Councillor Michael Mac Giolla Easbuig discuss how turf had once been a huge benefit to the area when the ESB Turf Burning Station in Meenacuing, Gweedore, had been in operation between 1957 and 1995.
In the ESB Journal in 1963, James J McAuley said the following about the Turf Burning Station; “In one of the most spectacularly beautiful sites that anyone could have picked for such a project, on the shores of a lake at the foot of towering Errigal, and ringed by scenery that carries the eye to heaven, Gweedore station stands like a monument to the achievement of the local people who play a large part in the station’s success.”
Councillor Mac Giolla Easbuig says that the Turf Burning Station had the potential to be a museum for the area in terms of the work that was once done there by men and women, Donegal’s railway line, and the general history of the area.
The main union organiser of the station was John Rua Mac Giolla Easbuig.
Speaking to Donegal Daily, Councillor Mac Giolla Easbuig said that his uncle John Rua “first and foremost looked after the interest of the workers.”
“He was a great man”, he added, “I loved him very dearly.”
Speaking of the tradition of turf cutting, Councillor Mac Giolla Easbuig wishes to encourage those that have bogs to get back to turf cutting.
“It has been a tradition as long as Fionn Mac Cumhaill has been here.
“When the state move to stop turf cutting as they have in other parts of Ireland, we will fight and we will continue to cut turf.
“Neither Europe nor state will stop us cutting turf. We will fight and we will continue to cut turf and we will continue to resist by any means.