Why are we called LINEMAN?
We’re often asked about our name; we’re called LINEMAN as a tribute to my late father who worked as a Lineman for both the ESB and P&T in the 1940s and ‘50s. He stayed with the P&T (that eventually became Telecom Éireann and later Eircom) until he retired in 1996. There’s a nice lineage there as that same year Mark got his first job with Eircom until he left to start work on setting up LINEMAN in 2018.
The reason for the name LINEMAN runs a little deeper than that alone though. It’s also a tribute to the hard working heroes who worked in all kinds of conditions to bring about connection in the young Irish state, through electricity and telecommunications, taking Ireland out of the dark and into the modern state we know today.
The Rural Electrification Scheme began in 1946 when 2 out of 3 Irish homes had no electricity. In the period from ‘46 to ’64 1 million poles were erected, 50,000 miles of line were strung and 300,000 homes were connected to the grid. By 1975, 99% of rural Ireland was connected. No mean feat, and all done by the labour of fearless people who had to physically drag and erect poles in rough terrain, climb and string those poles in dangerous conditions, with a risk of electrocution.
The advent of electric power utterly transformed rural life in all its aspects
— economic, social and cultural.
A huge thanks to the Corbett family who gave us permission to use Jerry Corbett’s photos from his time working on the Rural Electrification Scheme c. 1946-56.
If you’re interested in finding out more about this period of Irish history and other ESB schemes visit https://esbarchives.ie