Electricity in the county before ESB
Kilkenny 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.
Kilkenny’s 11 local electricity providers were as follows:
- Callan Motor and Electric Light Co. was in operation before 1927. It supplied 94 homes and businesses in 1929, falling to 80 by 1930, when it was acquired ESB.
- Castlecomer Estate Co. was in operation before 1927. It supplied 3 homes and businesses in 1929, and was acquired by ESB around 1929—1930.
- Edward Staunton and Sons began to supply electricity in Freshford in 1930. The number of homes and businesses it supplied is unrecorded, and it was acquired by ESB later that year.
- Glenmore Co-op Creamery Ltd. began to supply electricity around 1944, initially serving 26 homes and businesses, rising to 31 in 1952, when it was acquired by ESB.
- John M Murphy and Son supplied electricity from the Electric Light Station, Graiguenamanagh, before 1927. The company supplied 45 homes and businesses in 1929, and was later acquired by ESB around 1937—1938.
- NJ Walsh supplied electricity from Greensbridge Mills, Kilkenny, before 1927. The number of homes and businesses he supplied is unrecorded, and the supply was acquired by ESB around 1930—1931.
- Piltown Co-op Agricultural Dairy Society began to supply electricity around 1930, serving 32 homes and businesses by 1937, when it was acquired by ESB.
- The Countess of Desart supplied electricity from her Aut Even estate at Talbot’s Inch before 1927. The supply served 27 homes and businesses in 1927, falling to 7 by 1930, when it was acquired by ESB.
- Timothy Butler supplied electricity in The Rower before 1927. He supplied 2 homes and businesses in 1929, and was later acquired by ESB around 1933—1934.
- Thomastown Electric Supply Station was in operation before 1927, and is recorded as serving 54 homes and businesses by 1929. The company changed ownership to Ryan and Son in 1932, and was later acquired by ESB around 1936—1937.
- Windgap Co-op Dairy Society Ltd. began to supply electricity in 1932, serving 11 homes and businesses by 1953, when it was 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, 14 towns and villages across Kilkenny were directly supplied by the Shannon Scheme:
- Ballyhale, 1937—1938
- Ballyragget, November 1929
- Callan, February 1930
- Castlecomer, November 1929
- Freshford , November 1929
- Glenmore, 1952—1953
- Graiguenamanagh, 1937—1938
- Inistioge, 1943—1944
- Johnstown, 1937—1938
- Kilkenny, November 1929
- Piltown, 1937—1938
- Talbot’s Inch, 1934—1935
- Thomastown, 1936—1937
- Urlingford, 1937—1938
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, Kilkenny was divided into 29 rural areas. More details on each of these areas is available here.