Happy 4th July to our American friends!

Happy 4th July to all our American friends! Did you know that on 21 October 1929, Franklin D Roosevelt, then Governor of New York and later 32nd President of the United States, wrote to EA Lawler, ESB and Ireland’s first Public Relations Officer, to express his interest in the ‘splendid’ Shannon Scheme?

Screenshot of Roosevelt letter

Screenshot of Roosevelt letter

While the original letter no longer survives, we have been able to transcribe its contents from its inclusion in the RTÉ documentary, 40 Light Years from Parteen (1967). It reads as follows:


State of New York
Executive Chamber

October 21, 1929

Dear Mr. Lawler,

Please let me send you my very hearty thanks for your letter and extremely interesting data in relation [to the] generation and distribution of hydroelectric power and [?its use] in the Irish Free State. I am gathering all possible information in regard to hydroelectric development and am greatly interested in the splendid Shannon development which [?has been] undertaken by the Irish Free State.

Very sincerely yours,
Franklin D Roosevelt