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Monday 15 September 2014

Carnsore: it will always be our Woodstock

Liam Collins

Published 13/05/2014 | 02:30

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Christy Moore drinking a pint of Guinness

FOR those who don't remember that far back, and some of us who were there don't remember much of it either, the 'Swinging Sixties' arrived in rural Ireland in the mid-1970s.

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Carnsore Point was our Woodstock, a heady mixture of music, protest and the prospect of close encounters with the opposite sex.

The tip of Co Wexford, became the focus because it was there the Fianna Fail Energy Minister, Des O'Malley proposed to site Ireland's first nuclear power station.

Battered by the 1973 'energy crisis' and the terror induced in motorists almost every time OPEC got angry with the west, O'Malley decided Ireland's huge dependence on imported oil had to end. But of course we were all against it because we were the 'protest generation' and the issue didn't really matter. And the 'Get to the Point' gig in the hot August of 1978 was another excuse to drink Guinness, smoke grass and well, hopefully get lucky with the girls.

Even Christy Moore, the headline act, is holding a pint of Guinness in the old black and white photographs.

We were sleeping in a Volkswagen van and memories of those days and nights are hazy. There was a lot of drink, smoke, long hair and endless, and in retrospect probably extremely boring, guitar 'jams', under the stars.

So what happened? Christy Moore eventually got on the 'Late Late Show' to sing his protest song, the festival rambled on for a few years, and eventually the government decided not to pursue the nuclear option.

Instead we stored millions of tons of crude oil in Whiddy Island. No, we're probably never going to embrace nuclear energy no matter what's mentioned in a Green Paper. Carnsore Point is the site of a wind energy project.

For me it will always be a lost weekend before there were other hazy days on the hillsides of Lisdoonvarna and Slane.

Irish Independent

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