Power to Rural No 1

A new book tells the story of Oldtown, the first village to be electrified under the Rural Electrification Scheme.

In 2022, the Oldtown Community Council organised a number of events to mark the 75 years since Oldtown became the first village connected by the Rural Electrification Scheme. The North Co Dublin village was part of the Kilsallaghan rurual area which was the first of the 792 areas connected by the Scheme in January 1947. (You can find out when your area was connected on our interactive map and database here)

In June 2022 the Oldtown 47 sub-committee organised a weekend festival which included the unveiling of a new monument and an exhibition of vintage appliances organised by ESB Archives. The successful event received coverage on RTE’s Countrywide and was the biggest event ever held in Oldtown with thousands attending.

At the unveiling of the new monument on 24th June, 2022, left to right, Gerry Fitzsimons, Chair Community Council and Oldtown 47 group,
Joe O’Brien TD, Minister of State, Cllr Howard Mahony, Mayor of Fingal,
Mia Monks, aged 8, Great Granddaughter of Eileen Monks, Patrick Maxwell, aged 11, great great Grandson of Tommy White, Paddy Maxwell, Patrick’s Dad, Paddy Hayes, ESB,
Darragh O’Brien TD, Minister for Housing.

Another output from the marking of the 75th anniversary was the publication of a new book by Martin Quinn called “Power to Rural No 1“. Born and reared in Oldtown, Martin, a professor of Management & Accounting History at Queens University, draws on local knowledge, print media, records of Dáil Éireann and archival data from our own archive to produce the story on Oldtown, the first village to be connected.

The launch of “Power to Rural No 1” took place at the Oldtown House on Sunday 4th December – the location of the first switch-on by the Scheme back in January 1947.  At the launch, Martin thanked the people of Oldtown for granting him the honour of writing the book, and everyone involved with keeping the history of Oldtown alive. He also said that Oldtown has a unique claim to fame and how important it was for the book to record the events from 75 years ago, especially for those who come after us.  

Front Cover
Back Cover – click to enlarge

Power to Rural No 1
Published: December 2022
ISBN: 978-1-7399507-3-6
90 pages, with illustrations and photos.
If you would like to order a copy, complete this form https://forms.office.com/e/NrHMDNrv9d

ESB Archives would like to thank Martin for writing the book and to the hard-working Oldtown Community Council 47 committee for their various 75th anniversary events they organised during 2022. Here’s to the 100th in 2047.

More photos from the June 2022 Oldtown Festival