Connecting Carlow to the national grid

Electricity in the county before ESB

Carlow had electricity before the establishment of ESB in 1927. ESB’s annual reports record 4 local electricity suppliers in the county — that means 4 individuals or companies who had permits to commercially supply electricity to 3 or more homes and businesses in their local area. The reports do not record when each local supplier was first established, merely the number of consumers they supplied, as well as the year the supplier was acquired by ESB.

Carlow’s 4 local electricity providers were as follows:

  • Bagenalstown Electric Lighting and Power Co. Ltd., was in operation before ESB was established in 1927, and is recorded as serving 90 homes and businesses in 1929. Its supply was acquired by ESB in 1929.
  • Alexander’s Electricity Works, Carlow, was also in operation before 1927. It served 305 consumers in 1929, when it was acquired by ESB.
  • Dr E Dundon supplied electricity in Borris between 1933—1934, when the company name was changed to Borris Electricity Co. Ltd. In 1934, it supplied 28 consumers, rising to 97 by 1946. Its supply was acquired by ESB around 1946—1947.
  • The town of Tinahinch was supplied by John M Murphy and Son at the Electric Light Station in nearby Graiguenamanagh, Co Kilkenny. This supplier was in operation before 1927, and is recorded as serving 49 consumers in 1937. Its supply was acquired by ESB around 1937—1938.

Shannon Scheme: connecting larger towns and villages to the national grid

The Shannon Scheme first began to generate electricity for the national grid in October 1929, and began to supply the larger cities, towns and villages of Ireland. From 1929, 7 towns and villages across Carlow were directly supplied by the Shannon Scheme:

  • Bagnelstown, 1930
  • Borris, 1946—1947
  • Carlow, 1930
  • Clonegall, 1944—1945
  • Leighlinbridge, 1933—1934
  • Tinnahinch, 1937—1938
  • Tullow, 1929

For more information on the connection of these towns, for instance relating to the number of homes and businesses connected, see our connections map here.

Rural Electrification Scheme: connecting rural townlands and villages to the national grid

The Rural Electrification Scheme began in 1946, to bring electricity to Ireland’s rural areas, including smaller villages. During the roll-out of the scheme, Carlow was divided into 17 rural areas. More details on each of these areas is available here.

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