Wednesday June 9, 2010
Today I had the opportunity to spend another morning with Tom and Marty. I’m interested in learning about the role of Bord na Mona and industry on West Offaly. Chatting with the men together has allowed me to see the nuanced role that Bord na Mona has played within the community. I received mixed responses to my questions-with the general consensus being that Bord na Mona brought employment and infrastructure to a small town. The men talked about the 1950s-1960s while the work was still largely manual and the facilities lacked heat or hot water. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to chat with Mr. Jennings about the moment of Bord na Mona’s inception, but the stories Tom and Marty shared with me helped to provide a sense of the community before industry arrived as well as the stories about work and social life. After a few days of research it seems that industry and the growth of the villages around West Offaly is a unique story to the county-and that the hard realities of work, life long friendships, and transformation of small villages can best be told by mixing these men’s stories with archival images of the Bord na Mona.