This collection of scholarly essays provides a background to the figures involved in the Shannon Scheme and gives a detailed historical assessment of the scheme, which transformed the east Clare landscape.
The Shannon Scheme, a massive hydroelectric project centred on Ardnacrusha in Co. Clare, remains the single largest direct public intervention in the Irish economy and the most ambitious engineering project in the history of the Irish state. It was the centrepiece of the state building programme during the 1920s, and one of the few success stories of the Cumann na nGaedheal government, providing the backbone from which the national electricity grid was constructed. This collection of scholarly essays provides a background to the figures involved and gives a detailed historical assessment of the scheme, which transformed the east Clare landscape. Essays cover topics including: the genesis of the scheme; the role of the German industrial giant Siemens; the conditions under which the Shannon Scheme workers lived; the formation of the Electricity Supply Board; the development of Irish engineering; the railway system at Ardnacrusha; Sean Keating and the art of state-building; and development at Ardnacrusha since the 1920s.
The editor, Andy Bielenberg, lectures in history at the National University of Ireland, Cork.