Electricity in the county before ESB
Roscommon 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.
Click here to view Roscommon on our interactive map.
Roscommon’s 6 local electricity providers were as follows:
- Roscommon County Board of Health supplied electricity in Ballaghadereen before ESB was established in 1927. It supplied 179 homes and businesses in 1932, and was later acquired by ESB around 1934—1935.
- Ballinlough Electricity Supply Co. began to supply electricity in 1933, serving 40 homes and businesses, rising to 62 in 1951, when it was acquired by ESB.
- The Electric Light and Ice Works supplied electricity in Boyle before 1927. Its name was changed to that of its proprietor, George Stewart, in 1933. It served 55 homes and businesses in 1929, rising to 65 in 1947, and was later acquired by ESB around 1949—1950.
- The Electric Light and Power Station also supplied electricity in Boyle before 1927. Its name was changed to that of its proprietor, John Stewart, in 1933. It served 235 homes and businesses in 1929, rising to 588 in 1960. It was acquired by ESB in 1966 — the last local electricity supplier in Ireland to be acquired by ESB.
- Castlereagh Lighting and Milling Co. Ltd. was in operation before 1927. It supplied 114 homes and businesses in 1929, rising to 171 in 1938 before the supply acquired by ESB around 1938—1939.
- Frenchpark Electric Lighting Co. Ltd. began to supply electricity in 1937, serving 30 homes and businesses, before being acquired by ESB around 1948—1949.
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, 10 towns and villages across Roscommon were directly supplied by the Shannon Scheme:
- Arigna, 1940—1941
- Athleague, 1936—1937
- Ballaghaderreen, 1934—1935
- Boyle, 1966
- Castlerea, 1938—1939
- Elphin, 1930
- Frenchpark, 1948
- Loughglinn, 1943—1944
- Roscommon, 1930
- Strokestown, 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, Roscommon was divided into 38 rural areas. More details on each of these areas is available here.
Since 1927, 1 generating station have been built in Roscommon. Click the links below to read more.
ESB Buildings in Roscommon
In 2004 ESB carried out an inventory of its important buildings for its book A Heritage Inventory of ESB Buildings in Ireland