We are currently researching electricity connections to Ireland’s islands. We will continue to add connection dates to our database as we gather more information. If you have information on a particular island that you would like to share, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The information below provides an overview of the supply of electricity to Ireland’s islands.
During the 1970s there were five Gaeltacht Islands – the three Aran Islands, Cape Clear and Tory island supplied with diesel generators. These were funded by the Department of Gaeltacht and run and maintained by local island cooperatives.
ESB acted only as contractors/consultants in the installation and maintenance of these generators.
Under The Electricity Supply Act 1976 (Final phase of Rural Electrification) some islands qualified for connection to the grid including Dursey (1979) and Inisbiggle (1978).
Late 1970s – early 1980s
A requests for supply to three more islands, Inisturk, Clare Island and Inishbofin were made by the government who believed supply should be available to these islands at the same standard and rate as mainland customers. ESB looked into costings for connections to the mainland grid but it was not feasible at this time.
Under a new Government directive, ESB took control of the supply of the eight main islands listed above. They worked in association with the island co-operatives and continued to maintain the diesel generators.
1990s – 2000s
Improved technology and European funding allowed a number of islands who previously had no ESB supply and many of those who had ESB Generators to receive connection to mainland grid via submarine cable connections.
Click on the articles below to read more about how ESB brought Power to Ireland’s Islands.
Aran Islands, Co. Galway
‘Electricity Has Come to Inisheer Island’ (Electric Mail, January 1975)
Arranmore, Co. Donegal
‘Staff Complete Laying of New Cable to Arranmore Island’ (Electric Mail, September 1982)
Cape Clear, Co. Cork
‘Cape Clear Island Electricity Scheme is Switched-On’ (Electric Mail, December 1971)
Clare Island, Co. Mayo
‘New Era for Inisbofin and Clare Island’ (article Electric Mail, July 1998)
Inishbofin, Co. Galway
‘New Era for Inisbofin and Clare Island’ (Electric Mail, July 1998)
Inis Treabhair, Co. Galway
‘Let There Be Light’, (Electric Mail, September 2001)
Spike Island, Co. Cork
‘More Power to Spike Island’ (Electric Mail, March 1983)
Valentia, Co. Kerry
‘Valentia Link’ (ESB Journal, November 1959)