Carnsore Anti-Nuclear Festival, '78-'79

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Last updated : 2nd August 1998

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The 20th anniversary of the first legendary Carnsore Anti-Nuclear festival happens this year. This page is a celebration of the event which happened when I was but eleven years old. It still holds a lesson for us today, in what the 'ordinary' people can acheive against all odds. Much of the material you see here was archived by Jim (Doc) Whelan at the time, and was only found after his death. These pages are a tribute to the man who worked so hard to ensure a safe nuclear-free Ireland.

In 1977, the Irish Government, under the then Minister for Energy Des O'Malley, decided to instigate plans for building Ireland's first nuclear power plant in Carne, near Carnsore Point, Co. Wexford. Carne is on the extreme south-easterly point of Ireland. Many people, both locally and nationally, were strongly opposed to the idea of nuclear power in Ireland and the idea of the free concerts/rallies in Carnsore Point was born. Titled "Get To The Point" (1978) and "Back To The Point" (1979), the concerts were a massive success and served to bring to public notice the whole question of nuclear power.

Rancho Seco Nuclear Power Plant

Rancho Seco nuclear power plant, Sacramento, CA - similar to the plant which was proposed for Carnsore. This power plant, incidentally, lies dormant since its closure by the California taxpayer. De-commissioning & storage costs have run into hundreds of millions of dollars.
(P. Cassidy, Feb '98)

Christy Moore was one of the artists to give his time to play at Carnsore. He played at both concerts in 1978 and 1979. It was there he met Doc Whelan in 1978. Doc was one of the more vocal anti-nuke locals. His garden on the main Rosslare-Dublin road was bedecked with anti-nuclear posters and flags. Doc met with Christy and gave him the song, "The Ballad of Nuke Power". Christy sang this on The Late Late Show on RTE Television in 1979 and it was recorded on a few albums. He also wrote a song about Carnsore, entitled "The Workers Are Being Used Again", although it was never recorded. (Visit the Christy Moore website here)

At the end of the '70s, the government decided that a nuclear power station was not viable for a country the size of Ireland. Today, Ireland remains nuclear-free. The land still remains in the posession of the ESB, although they have no plans to actually use it.


Val, Juno and Christy, Carnsore '78
(Derek Spiers.Report)





A cairn built by anti-nuclear protestors
This cairn still stands today at Carne
(Art O'Laoghaire)

Here is a letter from Christy Moore to Jim 'Doc' Whelan, dated 1979.

Christy Moore and others played no small part in bringing the whole question of nuclear power and nuclear safety to the forefront of public attention. We have them, among others, to thank for the fact that Ireland remains non-nuclear to this day.

Beautiful Carne beach as it looks today
(P.Cassidy, June '98)

Christy Moore's anti-nuke songs;

Songs by Jim 'Doc' Whelan;

Article © Peter Cassidy, 1997-1999. You are welcome to reproduce it - just ask first!

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