Back to Ballyshannon 53 years after hydro dam job

William Ward

Reporter:

William Ward

An advert in a local newspaper led Gerry Duffin on a magical trip down memory lane - straight to the Carlton Hotel, Belleek.

An advert in a local newspaper led Gerry Duffin on a magical trip down memory lane - straight to the Carlton Hotel, Belleek.

Fate first brought Gerry to County Donegal half a century ago when as a young cub he left Glasgow to pursue work in a hydro plant being built in Ballyshannon.

He was hired as an electrician by the late Frank Fahey, a supervisor at the plant, who taught Gerry a trade that would set him up for life.

Work took Gerry back to Scotland where he settled in East Kilbride and made a home with his wife Jenny.

But he never quite forgot his experiences in Ireland and the rich memories of his time in the region during the 1950s.

For it was Gerry who was assigned Ballyshannon legend Bob Gallagher - the famous Aodh Ruadh footballer - as an assistant.

Bob, formerly of Bishop Street, Ballyshannon, also left an impression on Gerry, who is a passionate football fan to this day.

Another local man became a life long friend of Gerry whom he had met on the Cementation construction. Joe Ferguson from Brollagh Belleek met up with Joe on his recent trip to the Carlton Hotel after a 53 year absence. Joe and Gerry visited both Cliff and Cathleen’s Fall power Stations on the eve of Gerry’s Departure and reminisced to the late hours

So it was only fitting that Gerry return 53 years later to visit the power station he helped construct.

Gerry who leaves for Glasgow on Friday visited the plant on Thursday and had with him three photos of his time in Ballyshannon where he stayed in East Port.