Connecting Kildare to the national grid

Electricity in the Kildare before ESB

Kildare had electricity before the establishment of ESB in 1927. ESB’s annual reports record 5 local electricity suppliers in the county — that means 5 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.

Click here to view Kildare on our interactive map.

Kildare’s 5 local electricity providers were as follows:

  • EW Youell supplied electricity at Emlyroe, Athy before ESB was established 1927. He supplied 110 homes and businesses in 1929, and was acquired by ESB in September 1929.
  • Kildare Board of Health was in operation before 1927. It supplied 128 homes and businesses in 1929, rising to 153 in 1933, when the supply was was acquired by ESB.
  • Peter F Foy supplied electricity from the Picture House, Naas, before 1927. He supplied 5 homes and businesses in 1929, and the supply was later acquired by ESB around 1929—1930.
  • Monasterevan Electric Lighting Co. was in operation before ESB, and is recoded as serving 42 homes and businesses in 1929. It changed ownership to Thomas Tynan, Electrical Works, Monasterevan in 1933, and was later acquired by ESB around 1934—1935.
  • Samuel Holmes supplied electricity from Brooks Works, Monasterevan, before 1927. He supplied 27 homes and businesses in 1929, and was later acquired by ESB around 1934—1935.

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, 21 towns and villages across Kildare were directly supplied by the Shannon Scheme:

  • Athy, November 1930
  • Ballymany, 1936—1937
  • Ballymore Eustace, 1938—1939
  • Brownstown, 1937—1938
  • Castledermot, November 1929
  • Celbridge, November 1929
  • Clane, 1935—1936
  • Curragh Camp, 1936—1937
  • Kilcock, November, 1929
  • Kilcullen, 1937—1938
  • Kildare, 1933—1934
  • Kill, 1936—1937
  • Leixlip, 1930—1931
  • Loughbrown, 1936—1937
  • Maynooth, November 1929
  • Monasterevin, 1934—1934
  • Naas, November 1929
  • Newbridge, November 1929
  • Poulaphouca, 1937—1938
  • Rathangan, 1929—1930
  • Sallins, 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, Kildare was divided into 25 rural areas. For more information on the Rural Electrification Scheme, click here.

Generation stations

Since 1927, 3 generating stations have been built in Kildare. Click the links below to read more about each station.

ESB Buildings in Kildare

In 2004 ESB carried out an inventory of its important buildings for its book A Heritage Inventory of ESB Buildings in Ireland

Click here to view an extract from the book featuring the buildings listed in Co Kildare.