Two townlands cast adrift by changing times

Shannonbridge and Lanesboro are facing challenges brought about by the sudden decision to close their peat-fired power stations. They believed they had until 2030, when many workers would be near retiring age. Now the plants are to close next year

17th November, 2019
The ESB Lough Ree peat-burning plant in Lanesboro. ESB management will close the plants at Shannonbridge and Lanesboro after the government opted to end the harvesting of peat in the region

No matter what route you take towards Shannonbridge or Lanesboro, each townland’s power station dominates the landscape. Even on small pockets of road where the Offaly and Longford-based plants are not visible, a plume of smoke billows into view.

The peat burning facilities – operated by ESB and supplied by Bord na Móna – have been at the centre of these two rural communities for over 50 years. They brought full-time jobs and...

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