After my trip to Boyle I went to the Arigna Mining Experience. It’s some years since I’ve been here and last time I wasn’t interested in photography so it was nice to go and take some photos.
Just as we entered the caves there was a picture of the Sacred Heart, praying must have featured a lot on the lives of the miners, it was a scary job. Seamus our tour guide was telling us there were no such things as helmets when his father worked in the mine and he just had a flat cap.
The men also got paid by the amount of coal they mined. They spent the day in very narrow tunnels mining the coal, there were no such things as masks so when they hit into the coal dust would fly all over the place.
The coal was loaded onto carts and taken out of the mine. Seamus was saying it was very hard to see as before miners lamps were invented they just worked by candlelight. So it was a long shift on their stomachs in almost darkness.
Above is the size of the tunnels that the miners would have worked in, they had to stabilise it with timber, in the hope the tunnel wouldn’t fall in on them. Accidents did happen though and some men lost their lives in the mines.