Connecting Cavan to the national grid

Electricity in the county before ESB

Cavan had electricity before the establishment of ESB in 1927. ESB’s annual reports record 11 local electricity suppliers in the county — that means 11 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.

Cavan’s 11 local electricity providers were as follows:

  • JE Parr at the Electric Power Station, Bailieborough, supplied electricity in the town before ESB was established in 1927. He supplied 47 homes and businesses in 1929, rising to 53 in 1933. His supply was acquired by ESB around 1933—1934.
  • P McEvoy also supplied electricity in Bailieborough before 1927, to 4 homes and businesses in 1929, dropping to 2 in 1934. His supply was acquired by ESB in 1934.
  • Ballyconnell Electric Light and Power Co. Ltd. was in operation before 1927, serving 64 homes and businesses in 1929, and 93 by 1950. Its supply was acquired by ESB around 1950—1951.
  • William Stewart at the Electric Lighting Station and Saw Mills, Belturbet, supplied electricity in the town before 1927, serving 135 homes and businesses in 1929. His supply was acquired by ESB around 1937—1938.
  • Captain WJ Nixon began to supply electricity at Blacklion in 1933, serving 27 homes and businesses by 1946, before his supply was acquired by ESB around 1947—1948.
  • Cavan Electric Light and Power Co. Ltd. was in operation before 1927, serving 168 homes and businesses before being acquired by ESB in September 1929.
  • W McKay supplied electricity at Cootehill before 1927, serving 60 homes and businesses before being acquired by ESB in July 1929.
  • Joseph H Fletcher supplied electricity at Killeshandra before 1927, serving 49 homes and businesses before being acquired by ESB around 1933—1934.
  • John W Gilmore supplied electricity from Kingscourt Electric Power Station before 1927, serving 51 homes and businesses before being acquired by ESB around 1938—1939.
  • HN Coffey began to supply electricity in Swanlibar in 1951, serving 40 homes and businesses in 1952, before being acquired by ESB around 1952—1953.
  • H Elliott and Sons supplied electricity in Virginia before 1927, serving 6 homes and businesses before being acquired by ESB around 1933—1934.

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, 15 towns and villages across Cavan were directly supplied by the Shannon Scheme:

  • Arvagh, 1930
  • Bailieborough, 1933—1934
  • Ballinagh, 1943—1944
  • Ballyjamesduff, 1939
  • Belturbet, 1937—1938
  • Blacklion, 1947—1948
  • Butler’s Bridge, 1941—1942
  • Cavan, 1930
  • Cootehill, 1930
  • Crossdoney, 1943—1944
  • Killeshandra, 1933—1934
  • Kilnaleck, 1943—1944
  • Kingscourt, 1938—1939
  • Shercock, 1933—1934
  • Virginia, 1933—1934

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, Cavan was divided into 33 rural areas. More details on each of these areas is available here.

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