Connecting Limerick to the national grid

Electricity in the county before ESB

Limerick had electricity before the establishment of ESB in 1927. ESB’s annual reports record 6 local electricity suppliers in the county — that means 6 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.

Limerick’s 6 local electricity providers were as follows:

  • John McEllin began supplying electricity in Ballagh in 1931, initially serving 26 homes and businesses, rising to 58 in 1947, when it was acquired by ESB.
  • Foynes Saw Mills Ltd. was in operation before 1927. It supplied 42 homes and businesses in 1929, rising to 66 in 1946, when it was acquired by ESB.
  • Kilmallock Electric Light and Power Co. Ltd. was in operation before 1927. It supplied 108 homes and businesses in 1929, and was later acquired by ESB around 1933—1934.
  • The Corporation of Limerick supplied electricity before 1927. It supplied 885 homes and businesses and was acquired by ESB in May 1928.
  • Newcastle West and District Electricity and Power Co. Ltd. was in operation before 1927. It supplied 230 homes and businesses in 1929, rising to 326 by 1934, when it was acquired by ESB.
  • Rathkeale Electric Light and Power Co. Ltd. was in operation before 1927. It supplied 152 homes and businesses in 1929, and was acquired by ESB in May 1929.

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, 32 towns and villages across Limerick were directly supplied by the Shannon Scheme:

  • Adare, May 1930
  • Ardagh, 1931—1932
  • Ardnacrusha, 1932—1933
  • Askeaton, 1929—1930
  • Athea, 1943—1944
  • Ballagh, 1947—1948
  • Ballylanders, 1937—1938
  • Bruff, 1929—1930
  • Bruree, 1939—1940
  • Cappamore, 1929—1930
  • Castleconnell, 1934—1935
  • Castlemahon, 1938—1939
  • Castlemungret, 1936—1937
  • Castletroy, 1935—1936
  • Cloncagh, 1938—1939
  • Croom, 1929—1930
  • Doon, November 1929
  • Drumcollogher, 1943—1944
  • Foynes, 1946—1947
  • Galbally, 1937—1938
  • Garryspillane, 1939—1940
  • Glin, 1938—1939
  • Hospital, 1929—1930
  • Kilfinane, 1929—1930
  • Kilmallock, 1933—1934
  • Knocklong, 1933—1934
  • Limerick city, 1929—1930
  • Mahoonagh, 1938—1939
  • Mountpelier, 1944—1945
  • Newcastle West, 1934—1935
  • Shanagolden, 1948—1949
  • Rathkeale, October 1930

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, Limerick was divided into 43 rural areas. More details on each of these areas is available here.

Post-development: connecting the islands to the national grid

To date, 1 island off the coast of Limerick has been connected to the grid:

  • Foynes island, c2003

For more information on the connection of this island, see our connections map here.

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