Connecting Westmeath to the national grid

Electricity in the county before ESB

Westmeath 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.

Westmeath’s 6 local electricity providers were as follows:

  • Irish Electrical Construction Co., Castlepollard , began to supply electricity in 1934. It supplied 70 homes and businesses by 1935, rising to 88 in 1942, before the supply was acquired by ESB around 1942—1943.
  • Castlepollard Town Improvements Association began to supply electricity in 1943. It supplied 90 homes and businesses in 1943 rising to 100 in 1948, when it was acquired by ESB.
  • Clonmellon Hydro Electric Co. Ltd. began to supply electricity in 1944. It supplied 50 homes and businesses by 1945, rising to 122 by 1954, when it was acquired by ESB.
  • Thomas Dunne began to supply electricity in Kinnegad in 1936. He supplied 5 homes and businesses by 1937, before his supply was acquired by ESB around 1950—1951.
  • Miltownpass Electric Light and Power Co. Ltd. began to supply electricity in 1943. It supplied 22 homes and businesses by 1944, before the supply was acquired by ESB around 1955—1956.
  • JH Peters supplied electricity in Moate before ESB was established in 1927, serving 50 homes and businesses before being 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, 5 towns and villages across Westmeath were directly supplied by the Shannon Scheme:

  • Athlone, 1929—1930
  • Castlepollard, 1948
  • Kilbeggan, 1930
  • Moate, 1930—1931
  • Mullingar, 1929—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, Westmeath was divided into 25 rural areas. More details on each of these areas is available here.

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