Connecting Louth to the national grid

Electricity in the county before ESB

Louth 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.

Louth’s 4 local electricity providers were as follows:

  • Ardee Electric Co. Ltd. was in operation before 1927. It supplied 120 homes and businesses in 1929, rising to 139 in 1936, when it was acquired by ESB.
  • Carlingford Electricity Co. Ltd. was in operation before 1927. It supplied 44 homes and businesses in 1929, rising to 113 in 1950, when it was acquired by ESB.
  • Dundalk Urban District Council was in operation before 1927. It supplied 985 homes and businesses in 1929, and was acquired by ESB in March 1929.
  • Smallwares Ltd. in Castlebellingham began to supply electricity in 1939, serving 14 consumers recorded by 1951, 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, 5 towns and villages across Louth were directly supplied by the Shannon Scheme:

  • Ardee, 1936—1937
  • Blackrock, October 1930
  • Carlingford, 1950—1951
  • Drogheda, 1929—1930
  • Dundalk, 1930—1931

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, Louth was divided into 14 rural areas. More details on each of these areas is available here.

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