28 Dec


first_img“Tunnel Tigers” celebrated as two groups met in Ben Vorlich during the construction of the Loch Sloy scheme, 1949CLICK ON LINK TO SEE BBC TELEVISION REPORT http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34934795A group of Irish tunnel workers are being hailed in Scotland on the 60th anniversary of a unique world record. The Irish emigrants were among 45 workers known as the ‘Tunnel Tigers’ who set the record for rock breaking in 1955. The tigers made history by grinding through 557ft (170m) of rock in seven days.The momentous feat was achieved while building the St Fillans section of the Breadalbane hydro scheme in Perthshire.The Irish workers, mostly from County Donegal, were following in the footsteps of generations of Irish emigrants who travelled to Scotland for seasonal work.There are only a few known survivors from the Irish members of the record-breaking team. Colm Gallagher, 84, now lives back in his home town of Dungloe in County Donegal.“It was dangerous work, there was no safety going. You could wear a helmet or you could go without the helmet,” he told BBC News NI.“It wasn’t safe in the tunnels.”Mr Gallagher revealed that his own brother, Patrick, was killed while working in a Scottish tunnel.Image copyrightSSE, Scottish Renewables and Historic ScotlandImage captionLiving conditions for the workers were basic with many huts transferred from former Prisoner of War camps, as shown in this photo of the hydro workers’ camp in Cannich, during construction of the Affric/Beauly schemeHe also described his own close encounter with the tragic death of a fellow worker. “He was driving the loco (dumper truck) and he asked me for a cigarette and I gave him a cigarette. He came out, the next load that came out, he was on the top, dead.”Another worker, John ‘Gonna’ O’Donnell, left his family home in the Irish-speaking (Gaeltacht) village of Ranafast to work in tunnels of Scotland a year after the world record was set.Mr O’Donnell said the Tunnel Tigers’ achievement was “superhuman”“It’s just unreal, it was never done before and never, ever, in the history of mankind, will it ever be done again,” he said. “It was a superhuman effort, what they achieved. To me, they were supermen.”DONEGAL TUNNEL TIGERS HAILED ON 60TH ANNIVERSARY OF WORLD RECORD was last modified: December 3rd, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:donegalScotlandTunnel Tigerslast_img read more

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