On the 22nd of July 1929 the Shannon Scheme & ArdnaCrusha power station opened. At the time it was one of the largest civil engineering projects of its type and this amazing feat of engineering took the best part of four years to build. The Shannon Scheme was the true beginning of electricity spreading countrywide and would eventually lead to the development of the Electricity Supply Board (ESB).
Following the foundation of the Irish Free State it became clear for Ireland to succeed industrially that we needed to harness and develop our natural resources. Irish engineer Dr. Thomas Mc Loughlin proposed to build a dam and power station on the River Shannon at Ardnacrusha.
Early newsreel reporting on the Shannon scheme
The plant was constructed by German company Siemens and around 1000 German and 400 Irish workers were involved in the construction. After four years of construction it opened on the 22nd of July 1922 and has been supplying power to towns and cities since then.
RTE Nationwide documentary on the history of Ardnacrusha hydroelectric power plant (Part 1)
Nationwide documentary on the history of Ardnacrusha hydroelectric power plant (Part 2)