We have to thank Tim Slevin and his family for sharing these wonderful photographs from his private collection.
He started out with ESB in Tipperary in 1950, when a rural electrification installation crew came to his home parish of Lorrha. For the next 13 years, he moved on through Cork, Donegal, Roscommon, Mayo and Leitrim. In 1955, while in Charlestown, Co Mayo, he met his future wife Tina, and although he was dispatched to Geesala/Belmullet in 1957, they remained together and got married in August 1959. They finally settled in Leitrim in 1963.
Séan Mac Fearghail writes about Tim in his story ‘Spreading The Hurling Message To The West’, which is featured in the new rural book ‘Then There Was Light‘.
click on any image to start slideshow
Tim’s rural gang in ESB truck outside McShane’s Bruckless, Donegal on the way to work, August 1951
Tim standing at a crossroads in the Big Snow of 1958. A depth of 17cm was recorded at Belmullet on the 24th January, the greatest depth of snow ever recorded at this station.
The Big Snow, 1958
Tim’s rural gang (L-R): Jimmy Oates, Sligo; Jim Cunningham, Donegal; Tommy Moran, Roscommon; Tony Carney, Roscommon; Paddy McHugh, Donegal; Peter Kennedy, Donegal.
Tim using shoe spikes to climb an electricity pole
Tim and his colleague pose beside a recently erected pole
What a ‘transformation’!
A rural day out: Tim’s brother and sister stopped to visit him in Donegal on their way to Lough Derg. Bottom left is brother Paul; bottom right is sister Chris. Willie Joe Kelly, the hackney car driver who drove them from Tipperary is standing on the far left, beside Tim.
The ‘ESB boys’: second from left is Jimmy Oates, Sligo; third from right is Hubert Murray, with Tim Slevin to his right; far right is Mick Stapleton, Portumna.
Tim with his colleagues in Belmullet (L-R): Jack Glynn, truck driver, holding December 1957 issue of REO News; Barry Ormond, clerical officer; Tim; and Pearse Dawson, rural canvasser.
Tim with his colleagues in Belmullet (L-R): Cyril Daly, Swinford, ‘the store man’; Tim; Barry Ormond, clerical officer, Waterford; Pearse Dawson, rural canvasser; and Diarmuid O’Conchubhair/Dermot O’Connor, engineer, Kerry
Tim’s rural gang with materials shipped from Cork (L-R): PJ O’Hara, Sligo; Jimmy Oates, Sligo; and Peter Kennedy, Donegal
How many ESB men can you fit up an electricity pole?
Tim with his colleagues (L-R): Willie Joe Kelly, hackney driver; Paul Slevin, Tipperary; Tim; Micky Herron, linesman, Donegal; unknown.
Tim beside the ESB Rural Electrification logo
Network Renewal Plan (NRP)
Tim Slevin passes the torch to a new generation of ESB workers during network renewal
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, ESB rolled out its Network Renewal Plan (NRP), upgrading and extending the electricity supply to meet the demands of modern Ireland. NRP built on the foundations laid by the Rural Electrification Scheme 50 years before, bringing the scheme into the twenty-first century.
Tim is featured in the official print advertisement for the NRP, celebrating the work he and many other rural workers did in bringing the light to rural Ireland.
For more ESB print advertisements, click here.