Last days at Bellacorrick

The tower at Bellacorrick has been knocked down and the children at Scoil Náisiúnta an Inbhir have been collecting their own memories of the tower and the memories of the wider community.

Memories of Bellacorick

My memories of Bellacorick chimney would have been when we were driving past the chimney. My mother would say it looked like the church. At night, coming home from Castlebar I always thought it looked like a ship when everything around it was lit up.


Bellacorick is a sign for me to say, you’re almost home. It also made a great achievement of going 1,000 days without an accident happening in 2003. Just recently my mam visited it and she said that when you look up and the clouds are moving it looks like it is swaying forwards and backwards. Unfortunately, on Sunday 14th of October it will be knocked down.


When we went to Ballina and we saw the tower we knew we were half way there. My Granddad said that he thought two men died when they were building it. My cousins said they thought that Santa lived there.


The road

Memories of Bellacorick

I am sad to hear that Bellacorick is going to be knocked down. I used to go to Christmas parties there and Santa used to give out presents. I was young when I went to them. Now every time I come down from Dublin or even Ballina or Castlebar I know that I am close to home. But now that it’s going I’ll be lost. My dad worked there for ten months. My brother Ben calls it a volcano because of the shape and sometimes there is fog around the top of it like smoke from a volcano. My Mum when she was younger, seeing Bellacorick meant the long journey from Dublin was nearly over, as Corick meant that home wasn’t far away.


My memories of Bellacorick are every time we were passing, my older brother used to try to shoot it down with a fake gun when he was younger. Also everyone when they got to Bellacorick it was then that they realised that they were in Erris.


My memory of Bellacorick is when my brothers Lorcan and Seamus thought that Homer Simpson worked in the power station. All the way up to Bellacorick they would say that Homer Simpson worked in the power station. My dad would laugh because Homer Simpson didn’t work in the power station. But, they still think that Homer works there and when we pass it they still say it.


When driving to my Granny’s house and we would know we were near because the rain would start and we would pass the chimney.


Every time I passed the tower I could picture little elves in my head. I called it the big chimney



Memories of Bellacorick


I have a lot of memories of Bellacorick power station from when I was younger. I remember every day when we passed it in the car, my mother would see me looking at it and say to me that the power station here is where Santa Claus lived and worked. The building to the side of it was one of his workshops where the elves worked making and fixing toys for all the children in County Mayo.


When I was coming home from England, I knew that I was nearly home when I saw the chimney. It was nearly always misty or raining at the chimney. I was young, I thought that smoke was coming out of the chimney and that somebody was in the chimney.

I remember when I was small on the way home from Castlebar when I saw the power station I knew I was nearly home. I remember when a lot of people from this area worked in the power station. I remember in wintertime the power station looked cool with all its lights.
The things that my Granddad remembers about the power station are:
The post office owned by Anthony Gallagher was where the workers used to meet up in the morning.
He remembers that depending on which way the wind was blowing, when you walked past the tower you could get soaked.
He remembers that two men were killed during the building of the tower.



These are some of the adults' thoughts:

The road to Bellacorrick

To me, Bellacorrick was the landmark which almost said ‘You’re heading home!’. When I lived in England for many years, I always felt , on reaching Bellacorrick, that I was at home, even though I had another fifteen miles or so to go. To me, it was like a welcome home symbol. To my children, it was where Santa lived and where the elves made their toys.


When we lived in England, it was great to come home on holidays. As soon as you got to Bellacorrick, you knew that home wasn’t far away. Some people claim that as they were coming to Erris, the sun could be shining but as soon as you got within reach of the chimney, it would start raining.
I think they should have left the greatest landmark in Erris for future generations to welcome and say goodbye to.


The memories I have of the power station at Bellcorick is, no matter where we had travelled to, when we saw the power station on our return, we were nearly home. On our journey, the weather would always be fine until we reached Corick. It would always be raining when we would reach Corick.

To me, it will be always remembered as Santa’s house

Whenever you’d see the tower on your way home from a long journey, you’d know you were nearly home

It was where they used to burn the peat to generate electricity for all of Erris

It gave a lot of work to all the people around the area when it was up and running

It is almost fifty years since it was first built


I, Jimmy F., worked with Bord na Mona, which supplied milled peat to the power station to generate electricity, for twenty seven years. It was our livelihood for twenty seven years and it will be sad to the landmark, which has been there for almost fifty years, being blown up. Most of the lads who worked there were local. They worked closely together as a team which is why it was so long in operation as they put their hearts and souls into the work they did. Some of the workers have passed on but for the rest of the men, it will be the end of an era for them.


I think people will miss the tower greatly. It was big and ugly and grey but everyone loved it becuase we knew that it was a sign that we were home when we saw it. If anyone suggested that a building like that should be built today in Erris, we would all probably object. But somehow, the tower held a special place in our hearts and we will miss it.

Visit to Bellacorrick

My memories of Bellacorrick are the joy of seeing it after travelling through the night on the coach from England. We would leave Birmingham at 10 o’clock at night, travel to the boat and cross the Irish sea. Then we would travel down from Dublin. By the time you reached Bellacorrick, you would know it was the leg of your journey and feel you were almost home.


When you were travelling home from Galway or Castlebar, and you saw the landmark ahead of you, you’d know you were getting near home


When we lived in England, on our way home after twelve or fourteen hours on the road, when we saw the chimney, we knew we nearly home. It was always misty or rainy when we came home too. Because the chimney looked like there was smoke coming out of it, it looked like a house with a fire lit inside which looked warm and friendly and like home.



If you would like to see a video clip of the demolition of the tower from the RTE news, click on the link below.