Episode 4: When The Lights Went On: The Story of Rural Electrification In Ireland

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This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Rural Electrification Scheme, one of the greatest social and economic developments in 20th century Ireland.

In today’s podcast, we speak with Deirdre McParland, senior archivist with ESB. She looks back at what life was like in Ireland before electricity, as well as the impact and legacy of rural electrification.

Also, we talk to Aoife Murphy, a Chartered Engineer who has worked in New Zealand and Ireland. After moving to New Zealand in 2010, the Christchurch earthquake struck which led Aoife to work for over six years repairing homes damaged by the earthquake sequence. In late 2016, with a view to moving home, she applied for a scholarship with The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings in the UK. For nine months, she traveled to the UK and Ireland learning all about the various skills involved in the repair of historical buildings.

In 2018, Aoife was awarded Engineers Ireland’s Chartered Engineer of the Year Award. She was also part of the project team that were awarded the Heritage and Conservation Award for the Swords Castle East Tower Consolidation project.

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