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Thursday 28 September 2023 Dublin: 12°C
# Let there be light
ESB map shows when over 1,300 Irish towns, villages and parishes got electricity
Ireland’s network was the first fully integrated national electricity service in the world.

ESB HAS CREATED an interactive map which shows when each town, village and parish in the country became connected to Ireland’s electricity network.

ESB was established in 1927, at the time only 45,000 homes in Ireland had electricity – usually from a local authority or private electricity supplier.

Ireland’s network, which was constructed in 1929, was the first fully integrated national electricity service in the world.

By 1978, the Shannon Scheme (1929) and the Rural Electrification Scheme (1946) had connected over one million Irish homes and businesses to the ESB network.

To celebrate its 90th anniversary, ESB archivists have researched the company’s annual reports and over 1,500 stories from both schemes.

ESB Archives Ireland / YouTube

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten described the map as a “window into our past”.

Fascinating data is provided around population, numbers of homes connected, public lighting, and previous local electricity suppliers.

“This rich tapestry of information brings to life Ireland’s electrification experience and will no doubt be a useful resource for organisations and individuals in every corner of the country with an interest in local history.”

ESB Networks Managing Director, Marguerite Sayers, said ESB’s archivists have meticulously researched the company’s annual reports, completing over 1,500 stories from both the Shannon and the Rural Electrification Schemes.

“This is a valuable interactive and educational tool which charts the course of ESB’s rollout of electricity from its foundation in the midst of the Shannon Scheme construction 90 years ago, until 1977 when the last communities under the rural electrification scheme were connected.”

ESB want to hear from people who have further photos, facts or stories of electricity in their locality. For further information visit

Read: ‘People definitely don’t realise the depth of the historical treasures around them’>

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