Connecting Galway to the national grid

Electricity in the county before ESB

Galway had electricity before the establishment of ESB in 1927. ESB’s annual reports record 13 local electricity suppliers in the county — that means 13 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.

Galway’s 13 local electricity providers were as follows:

  • Athenry Electric Light Works supplied electricity before ESB, serving 90 homes and businesses in 1929. It later changed name to Ruane’s Electric Light Works, Athenry in 1933, and served 132 homes and businesses by 1937, when it was acquired by ESB between 1937—1938.
  • Clifden Electric Light and Power Works was in operation before 1927. It supplied 90 homes and businesses in 1929, rising to 150 in 1953, when it was acquired by ESB.
  • Dunmore Electric Light Co. Ltd. began to supply electricity in 1934, serving 63 homes and businesses by 1935, rising to 90 by 1949, when it was acquired by ESB.
  • Galway Electric Light Co. Ltd. was in operation before 1927. It supplied 897 homes and businesses in 1929, rising to 1,017 in 1930, before the supply was acquired by ESB in April 1930.
  • Corn and Saw Mills supplied electricity in Gort before 1927. It supplied 20 homes and businesses in 1929, before the supply was acquired by ESB around 1930—1931.
  • James O’Connor of George Street also supplied electricity in Gort before 1927. It supplied 12 homes and businesses in 1929, before being acquired by ESB around 1930—1931.
  • Letterfrack Industrial School supplied electricity before 1927. It supplied 5 homes and businesses in 1929, rising to 15 in 1956, when it was acquired by ESB.
  • Loughrea Electric Power and Lighting Co. Ltd. was in operation before 1927. It supplied 235 homes and businesses in 1929, and was acquired by ESB in August 1929.
  • Mount Bellew Co-op Agricultural and Dairy Society Ltd. was in operation before 1927. It supplied 46 homes and businesses in 1929, rising to 55 in 1950, when it was acquired by ESB.
  • Rev BC Irwin began to supply electricity in Moyard in 1931. The number of homes and businesses he supplied was unrecorded, and was later acquired by ESB around 1933—1934.
  • Portumna Electric Light and Power Co. Ltd. was in operation before 1927. It supplied 100 homes and businesses in 1929, rising to 190 in 1947, when it was acquired by ESB.
  • Tuam Electricity Co. Ltd. was in operation before 1927. It supplied 257 homes and businesses in 1929, rising to 403 in 1935, when it was acquired by ESB.
  • John Roche supplied electricity from the Mills, Woodford, before 1927, supplying 20 homes and businesses by 1929. The company changed ownership to Mrs John Roche in 1938, to Mrs Anagh Whyte in 1949, and to Mrs Oonagh Whyte in 1950. It supplied 25 homes and businesses by 1952, and was later acquired by ESB.

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, 13 towns and villages across Galway were directly supplied by the Shannon Scheme:

  • Ahascragh, 1937—1938
  • Athenry, 1937—1938
  • Ballinasloe, July 1930
  • Ballygar,1936—1937
  • Clarinbridge,1943—1944
  • Dunmore, 1949—1950
  • Eyrecourt,1935—1936
  • Galway, 1930—1931
  • Gort, April 1930
  • Loughrea, March 1930
  • Oranmore, 1940—1941
  • Portumna, 1947—1948
  • Tuam, 1935—1936

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, Galway was divided into 64 rural areas. More details on each of these areas is available here.

Post-development: connecting the islands to the national grid

To date, 12 islands off the coast of Galway have been connected to the grid:

  • Gorumna, c1961
  • Inchaghaun, c2000
  • Inishbarra, c2003
  • Inishbofin, 1998
  • Inisheer, December 1997 (connected via diesel generator since December 1973)
  • Inishmaan, December 1997 (connected via diesel generator since December 1977)
  • Inchamakinna, 2001—2002
  • Inishmore, 1996 (connected via diesel generator since November 1976)
  • Inishtravin, c2001
  • Lettermore 1961
  • Turbot Island, 2003
  • Inishturk, 2003

For more information on the connection of these islands, see our connections map here.

Generation stations

Since 1927, 1 generating station was built in Galway. Click the link below to read more.

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