Connecting Laois to the national grid

Electricity in the county before ESB

Laois 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.

Click here to view Laois on our interactive map.

Laois’s 4 local electricity providers were as follows:

  • J Pim and Sons supplied electricity in Mountmellick before ESB was established in 1927. He supplied 2 homes and businesses in 1929, and was acquired by ESB around 1929—1930.
  • Mountrath Electricity Supply Co. Ltd. supplied electricity in Mountrath and Castletown before 1927. It supplied 97 homes and businesses in 1929, rising to 104 by 1935, when it was acquired by ESB.
  • Portarlington Electricity Supply Co. Ltd. was in operation before 1927. It supplied 186 homes and businesses in 1929, and was acquired by ESB in September 1929.
  • James J Aird and Sons supplied electricity at Maryborough [Portlaoise] Electricity Supply Works before 1927. It supplied 34 homes and businesses in 1929, and was later acquired by ESB around 1930—1931.

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 Laois were directly supplied by the Shannon Scheme:

  • Abbeyleix, November 1929
  • Ballinakill, 1935—1936
  • Ballyroan, 1931—1932
  • Borris-in-Ossory, 1930—1931
  • Castletown, 1935—1936
  • Clogh, 1939—1940
  • Durrow, November 1929
  • Mountmellick, November 1929
  • Mountrath, 1935—1936
  • Portarlington, February, 1931
  • Portlaoise, November 1929
  • Rathdowney, 1929—1930
  • Stradbally, November 1929
  • The Swan, 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, Laois was divided into 22 rural areas. For more information on the Rural Electrification Scheme, click here.

Generation stations

Since 1927, 1 generating station has been built in Laois. Click the link below to read more.

ESB Buildings in Laois

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 Laois.