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PODCAST: BORD NA MONA: AN ORAL HISTORY OF THE IRISH PEAT INDUSTRY

In Ireland bogs are found in various regions, mainly in the midlands. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries the British government began to encourage the development of Ireland’s peatlands, and the improvement of the quality of turf for fuel. In the 1930s the government of the Irish Free State formed the Turf Development Board, later to become Bord na Mona.

In this podcast you will hear accounts of the stage by stage progress in the industry, beginning with the primitive harvesting of hand-won turf in West Kerry at the beginning of the 20th century, and local communities uniting to form Turf Societies in the 1920s. Mention is made of the first engineers to work for the Turf Development Board, and in the 1940s the introduction of new machinery from Germany, the making of roads, bridges and track lines through the bogs, the migrant workers from elsewhere in Ireland to work in the Midlands, and in the 1960s, the Russian influence in production and the finally, the fuel crisis of the early 1970s.

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