Bellacorick, A visual impression

The peat-powered electricity station at Bellacorick in North Mayo was operated by the ESB from 1962, until it was decommissioned in 2004. It employed close to 600 people during its four decades in existence. The plant used to burn 300,000 tons of peat and generated 170 million units of electricity annually. On Sunday 14th October 2007 the cooling tower on the site was demolished in a spectacular controlled explosion. The building, which houses the two generators, was then earmarked for demolition. This was the building that was of most interest to me as a photographer.

The following series of photographs is as a result of authorized visits that I made to the decommissioned power station during 2008 and 2009, in these images taken from a larger body of work and I have created my own personal visual responses to the iconic building’s structure and former function. My photographs explore the shapes and patterns that embody both the construction and physical presence of the building, the rhythms of glass and metal that makes up the building's fabric. The generators now silent will never again produce a volt of electricity, but the building itself within it’s steel and glass walls still gives off a strange energy, a warm and cold feeling at the same time. Standing beside the cold rusting steel of the hoppers with the heat of the day coming in through walls of broken glass windows, one can’t help but feel something of the life that this place once had.