Electricity Supply Board

Electricity brought Ireland into the twentieth century during the 1930s

It is arguable that the most positive decision made by the new Free State government was to build the Shannon Scheme. The project cost £5.5 million, which was about 20% of the government day to day expenditure at that time, and it involved the construction of Ardnacrusha Power Station. Critics of the scheme said it would be a White Elephant as the demand for electricity would never be sufficient to justify the project costs.

They were wrong. There was a huge growth in electricity sales from 43kWh hours in 1930 to 218kWh hours in 1937. ESB’s first showroom at 25 St. Stephens Green was part of the success story. Opening in 1929, it sold £315.6sh.8d worth of electrical equipment in its first week of business.

With thanks to the ESB

Watch a video about the history of Ardnacrusha: