September 18, 2005


In January 1904 the Leinster leader reported on an inquiry into the proposed scheme  for bringing electric lighting to Kildare Town.

Leinster Leader 30/1/1904 p. 7



Mr A. Price, Local Government Board Engineering Inspector, held a sworn inquiry, at the Courthouse, Kildare, on Monday, into the proposed scheme for the lighting of the town by electricity. Mr S. J. Brown, solicitor, appeared on behalf of the Naas No. 1 District Council, in support of the scheme. Mr D. J. Purcell, Clerk of the District Council; Mr F. Bergin, B.E., Engineer to the Council; Rev Father Campion, P.P.; Mr John T. Heffernan, (Secretary County Council) Secretary to the Lighting Committee; Mr P. Talbot, D.C., and Mr C. Bergin, Co.C., Mr W. H. Clegg, Electrical Engineer, were in attendance.
Mr Purcell was the first witness examined. He said that the valuation of the area of charge for the lighting – the town of Kildare and certain adjacent townlands – was £5,326. The outstanding balances of loans, chargeable to the area amounted to £1, 016 19s 5d. The present rate of taxation in the pound on the area of charge was 2s 3¾d on land and 3s 4¾d on buildings. The poundage rate for the repayment of the loan of £3,300 for the scheme would be about 11¾d in the pound on the area of charge.
Mr Clegg gave evidence as to the details of the scheme the cost of which he estimated as follows – Buildings, £250; gas plant, £409; engines, dynamos, etc., £824; batteries, etc., £230; mains (including lamp posts, etc.,) £1,647 – total £3,350. He estimated the annual expenditure connected with the scheme at £250 for 24,000 units of electricity. If the consumption exceeded 24,00 units the Council should pay the difference in the cost of coal and the wages would be the same. He estimated the revenue at £625 a year. That would be 15,000 units at 7d per unit for public lighting and 9,000 units at 5d per unit for private lighting. The expense of the public lighting would be 9d in the pound but the difference in the amount of the expenditure and the revenue would go to reduce the cost of public lighting. He added that the National Electric Construction Company were willing to “run” the works for five or ten years for a sum of £250 per year, any revenue exceeding £250 to be paid over to the District Council.
Mr Brown asked would they be prepared to do that for the full term of the loan – 20 years.
Mr Clegg said he had no authority to exceed the period mentioned – 5 or 10 years.
Mr F. Bergin, B.E., said that the population of the town of Kildare was 1700 exclusive of the military. The scheme provided for 500 16-candle power lamps lighting at the same time and provision was made for an increase of 250 lamps, if necessary.
Messrs Denis Flood, Thomas Boland, Henry Brereton, James E. Dunne, and Jas Clinch, objected to their paying towards the cost of the scheme, as their holdings were over a mile and a half from the town of Kildare.
Mr Flood, the only objector who consented to be examined, admitted in reply to Mr Brown, the necessity for lighting the town.
Mr Brown proposed a vote of thanks to the Inspector for the manner in which he conducted the inquiry. The Inspector returned thanks and said that the scheme as submitted to him by Mr Clegg appeared to be satisfactory.

Posted by mariocorrigan at September 18, 2005 12:50 PM