Peatland Formation Calendar

Peatland Formation Calendar

Ireland's raised bogs began to form around 7000 BC, they occur mainly in the central plain. Blanket bogs began to form around 2000 BC, they are located mainly along the west coast of Ireland. Full article

Lough Boora Mesolithic Axes and Microliths

Lough Boora Mesolithic Axes and Microliths

In 1976 Bord na Móna employees discovered the Lough Boora mesolithic site which dates from 7000 BC

Excavation of a Wooden Vessel

Excavation of a Wooden Vessel

Peatlands have been a very important source of archaeological material in Ireland, this provides us with unique and valuable insights into our past. Full article

The Derrynaflan Silver Chalice

The Derrynaflan Silver Chalice

This valuable object was found near Littleton bog and dates fron the christian period

Corlea Trackways

Corlea Trackways

Toghers or trackways were used to convey people safely across the perilous peatland regions, they range from narrow pedestrian tracks to wide structures. Full article

Foot of the Tombeagh Bog Body

Foot of the Tombeagh Bog Body

Around 80 bodies have been found in Irish bogs over the past two and a half centuries, a small number of these may be people who suffered ritual execution in the Iron Age. Full article

Bog Commission Reports

Bog Commission Reports

The four reports surveyed the bogs of Ireland and recommended how they might be drained and converted for agriculture

Richard Griffith

Richard Griffith

Richard Griffith surveyed 80,000 hectares of lowland bog and 100,000 hectares of mountain bog during 1,300 days of intensive field work spread from 1809-1813

Peat Distillation

Peat Distillation

A large peat distillation plant was established at Kilberry, in 1849 for the preparation and purification of peat tar and other distillates

Charles Hodgson and his son

Charles Hodgson and his son

The most comprehensive and technically perfect system of peat fuel production in Ireland was started at Derrylea by Charles Hodgson in 1860. Full article

Peat Coal Poster

Peat Coal Poster

Robert Alloway produced a fuel based on a peat coal mixture at Ballybrittas in 1867. Full article

Bringing Home the Turf

Bringing Home the Turf

For hundreds of years Irish people used turf for cooking and heating their homes

Turraun Peat Works

Turraun Peat Works

Sir John Purser Griffith bought Turraun in 1910 and over the years developed and expanded it, in 1924 he began to produce machine sod turf with German machines

Irish Peat Enquiry Committee

Irish Peat Enquiry Committee

The Enquiry committee was established to inquire into the winning, preparation and use of peat fuel and for other purposes

Dail Report on Peat 1921

Dail Report on Peat 1921

The recommendations of this report eventually led to the establishment of the Turf Development Board

Lullymore Briquette factory

Lullymore Briquette factory

The Peat Fuel Company Ltd. developed the bog at Lullymore for large scale milling operations and built a briquette factory of 50,000 tons annual output

Eamon de Valera and Sean Lemass at the National Turf Cutting Competition

Eamon de Valera and Sean Lemass at the National Turf Cutting Competition

Eamon de Valera launched the National Turf Cutting competition each year during the 1930s. Full article

Turf Cutting Competitions

Turf Cutting Competitions

The competition was launched to increase awareness of peat as a fuel and to help increase production. Full article

The Turf Development Board met at Moore's lane, Clonsast

The Turf Development Board met at Moore's lane, Clonsast

The Turf Development Board was founded in 1934 to develop Ireland's peat resources and to create a market for hand won turf. Full article

Russian Peat Production in 1935

Russian Peat Production in 1935

A delegation from the Turf Development Board travelled to Germany and Russia to study large scale production of peat

Turf Development Board acquires Turraun

Turf Development Board acquires Turraun

In 1935 the Turf Development Board bought John Purser Griffith's plant at Turraun and used it to gain experience of mechanised peat production

Bagger Sunk at Turraun

Bagger Sunk at Turraun

The early machines caused considerable problems, the German baggers were not fully suited to Irish conditions and often sank in the bog

Men working on Bagger

Men working on Bagger

The Turf Development Board surveyed Clonsast bog in 1936 and the first bagger began operating there in 1939. Full article

Digging an Outfall at Clonsast

Digging an Outfall at Clonsast

The first major task at Clonsast was the digging by hand of the drains. The TDB underwent a difficult learning period as it tried to drain Clonsast too quickly

Stack of Lullymore Briquettes

Stack of Lullymore Briquettes

Lullymore Briquette factory closed in 1939 but was reopened by the Turf Development Board in 1940 because of the fuel shortage during the emergency

Phoenix Park Turf Clamp

Phoenix Park Turf Clamp

During the Emergency the Kildare hand won scheme was opened to offset the fuel scarcity resulting from the war, peat was stockpiled in the Phoenix park

Kildare Scheme Christmas Party at Newbridge

Kildare Scheme Christmas Party at Newbridge

The Turf Development Board built camps and hostels for the thousands of men who migrated to the midlands to cut turf for homes and offices. Full article

Eamon de Valera and Frank Aiken visit in 1944

Eamon de Valera and Frank Aiken visit in 1944

Every year Eamon de Valera visited the Turf Board and later Bord na Móna to show his support for the development of the bogs. Full article

Camp Sports and Recreation

Camp Sports and Recreation

Although the work was hard sports and other social events were organised for the men who worked on the Kildare scheme

Footers Making the Tea

Footers Making the Tea

Hundreds of boys worked at footing the turf, for many it was the first money they ever earned. Full article

Camp residents from the 1940s

Camp residents from the 1940s

Men came from all over Ireland to work in the camps, many could not speak English. Full article

Inspecting the Food

Inspecting the Food

Feeding hundreds of men was a difficult job, the President's wife, Todd Andrews and Chief Accountant Biddy Flynn inspect the food

Please Can I Have Some More

Please Can I Have Some More

The Turf Development Board employed 28 cooks and 12 senior kitchen hands, during the harvest period the staff produced three meals daily for 4,000 workers

Turf Development Board Exhibition

Turf Development Board Exhibition

The Turf Development Board exhibited its products and fuel appliances at the National Planning Exhibition in 1943

Disc Ditcher at Lullymore

Disc Ditcher at Lullymore

The disc ditcher was first suggested by Griffith Owens at Lullymore and built by Garretts of the UK. Garretts redesigned the machines for milled peat production during the 1940s

Experimental Station Newbridge

Experimental Station Newbridge

When Bord na Móna began its post-war plan of expansion it set up a research department under the name of Experimental Station at Newbridge Co. Kildare. Full article

Bord na Móna Cartoon from 1947

Bord na Móna Cartoon from 1947

During the Emergency a lot of the turf supplied to Dublin tended to be wet, the cartoon shows the feelings of Dubs towards turf

Portarlington Power Station

Portarlington Power Station

In the early 1950s Portarlington and Allenwood power stations were opened as part of the first development programme for peat production

Man Digging Drain by hand

Man Digging Drain by hand

The early stages of draining had to be done by hand, only when the bog was capable of supporting drainage machines could they be introduced

Sod Peat Bagger

Sod Peat Bagger

During and after the war the baggers were redesigned to better meet Irish bog conditions , this is one of the Bord na Móna designed machines. Full article

Sod Peat Collector

Sod Peat Collector

When the sods were dry a sod collector (the iron ganger) moved along the bog and the sods were thrown manually on to its moving conveyor

Delivery of Turf

Delivery of Turf

Bord na Móna developed a policy of selling turf on a wholesale basis to any dealer who wished to trade in it, the company also helped to design improved turf lorries. Full article

Mechanical Loading of Sod Peat

Mechanical Loading of Sod Peat

During the 1950s mechanical sod peat loading machines became widespread , eliminating the back-breaking manual loading work

Ballydermot Hostel and works

Ballydermot Hostel and works

During the first development programme it remained necessary to import workers from outside the areas being developed and hostels were used to house the men

Recruitment Photograph

Recruitment Photograph

In the early 1950s there were serious shortages of labour and Bord na Móna made strenuous efforts to increase recruitment of labour. Full articles

Coill Dubh Village Scheme

Coill Dubh Village Scheme

The building of houses for workers was seen as vital for a permanent workforce. In total 572 houses were built in eight villages. Full article

Blessing of Housing Development

Blessing of Housing Development

The blessing of the new housing schemes at Mountdillon took place on 8th May 1953, the three schemes contained a total of 154 houses. Full article

Cutting Moss Peat by Hand

Cutting Moss Peat by Hand

Sod moss was first cut in winter by hand, stored on the bog and transported by rail to the factory where it was processed into bales

Clamping Moss Peat

Clamping Moss Peat

The moss peat sods were stacked on the bog and then brought by rail to the factory

Sewing Moss Peat bales

Sewing Moss Peat bales

The moss peat bales were sewed at the ends and then exported to the UK and USA

Ferbane Power station

Ferbane Power station

In the 1950s Bord na Móna decided that the development of further bog areas for use with electricity generating stations should be based on milled peat. Full article

First Ever Milled Peat Loader

First Ever Milled Peat Loader

Milled peat production could be fully mechanised, required less labour than machine turf and cost 30% less to produce

Offset miller

Offset miller

Milled peat production fields are cambered along the drain edges by an offset miller, this is to facilitate the run-off of rainwater from the field

Triple Miller

Triple Miller

In the milling operation a thin layer of peat, usually 15mm deep, is cut from the surface of the bog and left to air dry over a period of a few days. Full article

Milled Peat harrow

Milled Peat harrow

Milled peat is turned over and corrugated by a spoon harrow, the number of harrowings per crop varies from two to five

Milled Peat Single Ridger

Milled Peat Single Ridger

When the moisture content of milled peat is down to about 45% the peat is pushed into triangular shaped piles in the centre of each production field

Bareneck Harvester B18

Bareneck Harvester B18

When ridges have been formed on all ten production fields they are transferred to the central stockpile by a harvester

International Peat Symposium bog visit in 1954

International Peat Symposium bog visit in 1954

In 1954 Bord na Móna organised the first international peat symposium, this was a great success and conferred great prestige on the company

Todd Andrews and Louis Rhatigan in Russia

Todd Andrews and Louis Rhatigan in Russia

In 1956 a delegation from Bord na Móna visited the Soviet Union, a few weeks later a delegation from Russia visited Bord na Móna. There were widespread protests against the visit. Full article

Apprentices at off the job training

Apprentices at off the job training

In 1947 the board approved an apprenticeship scheme which was set up in a structured way in the 1950s

Derrinlough Briquette factory under construction

Derrinlough Briquette factory under construction

In the early 1960s two new briquette factories, Derrinlough and Croghan opened because of the demand for briquettes. Full article

Briquette marketing float

Briquette marketing float

Due to the opening of Derrinlough and Croghan Bord na Móna began to market briquettes, before this Lullymore could not meet the demand and marketing was not required

Advertisement Photograph for Briquettes

Advertisement Photograph for Briquettes

The use of Briquettes expanded and Bord na Móna began to use marketing campaigns, the first publicity officer was appointed in 1962

Covering Stockpile with Polythene

Covering Stockpile with Polythene

In 1961 Hurricane Debbie caused serious damage to milled peat stocks this led to the decision to protect the stockpiles with polythene

Frozen Peat Stockpile

Frozen Peat Stockpile

In early 1962 the stockpiles were frozen due to the low temperatures and the men had to use pickaxes and sledge hammers to break through the frost

Windrowing Machine

Windrowing Machine

During the 1960s harvesting and footing of turf continued to involve manual labour, eventually a machine was developed to perform the windrowing procedure

Steba Peat Moss Cutter

Steba Peat Moss Cutter

By 1967 Bord na Móna was operating six sod moss machines which cut the peat moss in sods from the bog and stacked them in walls. Full articles

Shannonbridge Power Station

Shannonbridge Power Station

In 1960 the board of Bord na Móna agreed a bog development programme costing £0.5 million to supply fuel to new peat fired power stations including Shannonbridge

Crossing the Shannon

Crossing the Shannon

Bord na Móna's civil works section designed and built many bridges over the years including this one which links the bogs on the Western bank of the Shannon with Blackwater. Full article

Foidin Machine

Foidin Machine

Due to poor weather condition in the 1960s the board began the Foidin experiment, the short cycle harvesting project, however it was not a success

Third Development launch

Third Development launch

In 1974 the board launched a programme for future development in the new world fuel situation, this would become the Third Development Programme. Full article

Bord na Móna Harvester

Bord na Móna Harvester

The Third  Development Programme involved increasing sod and milled peat production, smaller bogs were drained for production

Bord na Móna Workshop

Bord na Móna Workshop

Machinery was manufactured and repaired in Bord na Móna's own workshops

Inniu is Amarach

Inniu is Amarach

In 1975 a corporate film was commissioned which premiered in 1977, this showed the new developments in the company

Lanesboro Power Station

Lanesboro Power Station

The new development programme led to the building of new power station units and the extension of existing units

Interworks Football Competition

Interworks Football Competition

The Bord na Móna interworks football competition grew in popularity, Derrygreenagh beat Mountdillon by 0-8 to 1-3 in 1970. Full article

Blood Transfusion Visit

Blood Transfusion Visit

The Blood Transfusion mobile unit regularly visited Bord na Móna locations in the 1970s to encourage employees to donate blood

Lough Boora Mesolithic Excavation

Lough Boora Mesolithic Excavation

The Lough Boora site archaeological team. In 1977 a major archaeological excavation was carried out at the Lough Boora site

Fuel Marketing

Fuel Marketing

The company continued to advertise the benefits of its fuel products during the 1970s. Full article

Littleton Briquette Factory

Littleton Briquette Factory

Throughout the 1970s there were shortages of briquettes on the domestic market, a decision to build a new briquette factory was taken in 1974 and the factory opened in 1982

Bulk Unloading of Moss Peat in Ballivor

Bulk Unloading of Moss Peat in Ballivor

A new moss peat bulk unloading system was installed in Ballivor in 1985, this system gave the company a competitive advantage in continental markets

Large Vacuum Harvester

Large Vacuum Harvester

A new research and development department was set up in 1984, research was carried out on new production systems and technology

Haku Milled Peat Process

Haku Milled Peat Process

Bord na Móna began experimenting with different production systems, in Oweninny the haku system was used, the peat was loaded into trailers and conveyed to a central stockpile

Eddie O'Connor with Albert Reynolds and Louis Rhatigan

Eddie O'Connor with Albert Reynolds and Louis Rhatigan

Eddie O'Connor was the first managing director to be appointed from outside the company he began a root and branch reform of all aspects of the company

Broc Carty with his award

Broc Carty with his award

A prize for technological innovation was made to the person who was considered to have made the greatest contribution to technical innovation in the company, the award was named after Broc Carty, who was a significant innovator within Bord na Móna

Mongan Bog and the River Shannon

Mongan Bog and the River Shannon

In 1983 Bord na Móna agreed to provide financial support for an ecological investigation into Mongan's bog in Co. Offaly. Full article

President Mary Robinson at Lough Boora Parklands

President Mary Robinson at Lough Boora Parklands

In 1997 the President inaugurated Loch an Dochais one of the most rewarding aspects of the evolving Lough Boora Parklands complex

Formal Equity Ceremony in Newbridge

Formal Equity Ceremony in Newbridge

In May 1995 the Government decided to invest equity in Bord na Móna, this was the re-capitalisation of the company

Puraflo Treatment System

Puraflo Treatment System

Arising from the work of the research and development the liquid effluent treatment system Puraflo was launched in 1990

Opening of the Peat Energy Division Office

Opening of the Peat Energy Division Office

A task force was established to study the structure of the company, the final report recommended that the company be divided into decentralised autonomous business units

Employees at Suttons

Employees at Suttons

In the 1990s Bord na Móna decided to look at new opportunities in the declining solid fuel markets, this led to the purchase of companies like CDL and Suttons of Cork

Wind farm at Oweninny, Co. Mayo

Wind farm at Oweninny, Co. Mayo

In 1991 Bord na Móna joined with a group of developers to establish a wind farm in Co. Mayo, in 1996 BnM bought additional shares in the venture and now owns 88.5% of the company

Volatile Organic Compounds Test Rig

Volatile Organic Compounds Test Rig

Continuous research and development led to the expansion of peat based biofiltration systems into non-peat based products for the abatement of odour and volatile organic compounds in air streams

Firelog and Firepak

Firelog and Firepak

Research and development in the fuels division led to the introduction of new products including the firelog and the firepak. The firelog was voted new product of the year by Checkout magazine

B&Q Multipurpose Compost

B&Q Multipurpose Compost

In 1992 Bord na Móna won a contract to supply retail horticultural products to the large B&Q chain in Britain. Full article

Edenderry Power Station

Edenderry Power Station

Construction of Edenderry Power Station began in 1999, the station came on full load in October 2000. Bord na Móna acquired the station in late 2006

AES

AES

As part of its strategy to obtain a level of control over the waste supply chain to Drehid, Bord na Móna acquired a large waste management company, Advanced Environmental Solutions (AES), in 2007. Full article

Greenwaste Composting

Greenwaste Composting

At Kilberry, Co. Kildare, waste materials, clippings, and spent grain from breweries is processed over 16 weeks to produce a composting material used as a peat substitute. Full article

2008 Peat Congress Delegates at Lough Boora

2008 Peat Congress Delegates at Lough Boora

In 2008 the Thirteenth International Peat Congress took place in Tullamore, it was strongly supported by Bord na Móna and the delegates visited many of our locations

President Mary McAleese at the Heartland Exhibition Launch

President Mary McAleese at the Heartland Exhibition Launch

In 2009 Bord na Móna launched an exhibition called Heartland to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the setting up of the Turf Development Board in 1934. Full article

Modern Peat Harvesting

Modern Peat Harvesting

Beginning in the 1980s Bord na Móna looked at new systems of peat harvesting and stockpiling, the changes intoduced over a period of time involved the use of tractors towing trailed production machinery. Full article

Monashell Media

Monashell Media

Bord na Móna 's research into the development of odour control technologies led to new products based on sea shells. Full article

Launch of Brown Gold

Launch of Brown Gold

In April 2010 An Taoiseach Brian Cowen launched Brown Gold, a major work on the history of the organisation

Bord na Móna Eco-Fuels range

Bord na Móna Eco-Fuels range

The Fuels Business Unit has expanded and enhanced their portfolio of convenient eco-friendly fuels for the individual consumer

New GroWise Range of Horticultural Products

New GroWise Range of Horticultural Products

Research and development within Horticulture has led to the introduction of GroWise, a unique peat-diluted range of growing media based on sustainable green compost. Full article

Biomass Intake Facility, Edenderry

Biomass Intake Facility, Edenderry

Bord na Móna will progressively reduce the overall carbon intensity of the electricity we produce through biomasss co-firing in our peat-fired Edenderry plant. Full article

Grey Heron at Lough Boora Parklands

Grey Heron at Lough Boora Parklands

As a significant landowner, Bord na Móna's management of bogs into the future will be important in terms of the national biodiversity resource, we have published a biodiversity Action Plan that outlines the existing biodiversity projects  and how we will continue to enhance biodiversity at all levels

Eco-tourism at Lough Boora Parklands

Eco-tourism at Lough Boora Parklands

The bio-diversity and beauty of Lough Boora Parklands offer hugh potential for eco-tourism and plans are afoot to share this rich natural asset

Water Supply Project

Water Supply Project

Bord na Móna plans to play a major role in providing a sustainable solution to the impending water supply problems. The proposal will result in the rehabilitation of an exhausted peatland asset into a new green economy asset focused on water supply, leisure and eco tourism

What is heartland?

Heartland is about sharing the history and heritage of Bord na Móna, of the people who worked there and our place in the living history of the midlands of Ireland.

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Bord na Móna ~ with nature