Clady exhibition opens in Donegal County Museum

ESB Archives bring their photo exhibition celebrating the 60th anniversary of Clady Hydro Electric Scheme to Donegal County Museum in Letterkenny. The pop-up exhibition, fresh from a successful run in Gweedore and Dunlewy, features previously unseen photographs captured during the construction of the hydro electric scheme in the 1950s. The exhibition opens for Culture Night, Friday the 20th September and runs until early November.

Cung Dam 5th April 1955

ESB’s Clady hydro-electric power station has been harnessing clean energy from the Clady river in North Donegal since 1959. The construction of the scheme provided a significant boom for the area during its five-year construction. The photographs capture the different stages of the construction at the dams, the weir, the canal and the station. A timeline listing key construction milestones as reported by the local and national press augments the story told by the photographs. ESB Archives produced this timeline using information provided by the Clady Scheme researcher Seán Ó Domhnaill.

Canal. View from main road bridge towards weir. 29th September, 1959

The Clady station is one of 3 hydro electric stations commissioned in Donegal. The other two, Cliff and Cathaleen’s Fall both on the Erne, and sometimes collectively known as Ballyshannon Station, were completed earlier in 1950 and 1951. All stations fed into the national grid and contributed to meeting the increasing growth in demand for electricity.

Penstock 17th October, 1958

Did you know that Letterkenny was the first Donegal town to get connected to the electricity grid, back in 1931?  Using information available on our interactive map the exhibition also takes a brief look at how and when the 59 towns, villages and parishes of Donegal were connected to the national grid for the first time.

ESB Archives are grateful to Donegal County Museum for kindly hosting our modest exhibition during the Clady 60th anniversary.

More on our portfolio of generation stations here…