Last week, we received a very clear note from the ESB telling us that on Tuesday we would have no electricity between 9am and 5pm. I was glad that we had been given a sensible period of notice as even though we are not in dairying we are dependent on electricity to power our deep well pump to supply water to house and the yard. We had looked at the possibility of linking up to the mains some years ago, but the nearest connection point would be well over a mile away and the estimated cost was very high.

In any event the well is sunk almost 40 years and through all the variations in weather it has never run dry. But reliable electricity is key. After the very heavy snowfalls of four or five years ago when there were widespread power outages nationally, we realised how vulnerable we were, especially with the finishing cattle on heavy meal feeding.