Thanks to Martin on The Atrix Facebook page for taking a high-quality photograph of his original poster for the Carnsore Point anti-Nuclear festival in August 1978.
The free festival was attended by thousands of people who wanted to express their opposition to the proposed first nuclear power plant in Ireland. Entrance to the three day festival in the South West corner of County Wexford was free and entertainment on offer also included exhibitions, workshops and theatre productions.
The cream of the crop of the Irish musical scene provided their services. They included traditional legends like Christy Moore, Clannad, Andy Irvine, Liam Weldon, Donal Lunny, Paddy Glackin who were backed up by soulful rock group Stagalee and Dublin New Wave bands Sacre Bleu, The Atrix and The Sinners.
Christy covered the event in his 2000 autobiography ‘One Voice’:
It was my first time to become directly involved in a political campaign, and I was to meet many people who became lifelong friends and a few who became somewhat less than that. The festival was a huge success and opened my eyes to the potential of people power. It was a wonderful collective and to this day I still try to carry the message of Carnsore Point in my everyday life.
Political speakers at the 1978 festival included Petra Kelly (1947-1992; German Green Party), John Carroll (vice-president of the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union) and Dr. Robert Blackith (1923-2000; Trinity College lecturer).
Not everyone on the radical Left was onside though. The pro-Unionist Marxist-Leninist group British and Irish Communist Organisation (BICO) picketed the festival as they believed nuclear power was was necessary to achieve socialism in Ireland!
There were further festivals in 1979, 1980 (with U2 on the bill) and 1981. The campaign was ultimately successful and a number of wind generating stations were opened on the headland in 2003.