An era goes up in smoke in Lanesboro

Last Tuesday, the 7 th of August proved to be a landmark day for the people living in Lanesboro and the surrounding areas as the ESB tore down the two chimneys at the Power Station which had been famous landmarks there since the 1960’s.   The ESB demolished the two chimneys at the Lanesboro Power station site on Tuesday morning.  The demolition by controlled explosion marks the end of the original power station built in 1966.    The two chimneys were the last part of the station to be demolished by contractor Robinson and Birdsell. The three boiler units were demolished on a phased basis over the past nine months, using explosions and heavy equipment.   The Lanesboro Power Station was built in 1966, with a further unit added in 1983 used peat as a fuel source for electricity generation. The 85-megawatt plant produced enough power for approximately half a million homes. Electricity production at the station ceased in March 2004.   Area County Councillor (Longford) Adie Farrell recalls when the chimneys were built.   ‘The first chimney was built in the mid-1960’s and there was huge excitement in the area. It was the first real source of employment in the area.’   ‘Then Bord na Mona expanded and starting supplying places like Dublin. The addition of the Mill Peat on a later date coinciding with the expansion meant that extra workers were needed which also gave a boost to the area,’ added Cllr. Farrell, who is a native of Lanesboro himself.   The station’s 80-metre stacks, which were felled this week, were a familiar landmark in the Roscommon and Longford area and are particularly well-known to river traffic.   Tuesday’s demolition is part of the remediation process at the site which has been earmarked by the Commission for Energy Regulation as one of a number of sites to be used by independent generation stations for future electricity generation.