Ardnacrusha Power Station


with Electricity Supply
Board Ireland


The harnessing of the River Shannon to construct a hydro-electric power station at Ardnacrusha (1926-29) was one of the biggest civil engineering projects in the world, involving thousands of men and an array of machinery. Initiated by Thomas A. McLoughlin, an Irish civil engineer working in Germany, it was a joint venture between the Irish Free State and the German company Siemens-Schuckert. The River Shannon was rerouted through the countryside, canalised into a head and tail race with its banks measured, graded and remade. Perhaps more significantly, the power station marked the beginning of the Rural Electrification Scheme – the first national network of its kind in the world – transforming social and productive life on the island.


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