A newspaper article, published in the Cork Daily Herald on 3rd of December 1891, describes in detail the newly installed system of electrical power at St Ann’s Hill Hydropathic establishment, located just outside Blarney. It is difficult to convey how innovative and groundbreaking this installation was for an enterprise, either private or public, in Cork at this time, it was practically unheard of.
Thomas Edison produced the first reliable and commercially usable electric light bulb in 1879 and the history of electricity in Ireland began soon after in 1880, when the first public electric light was installed at Princes Street in Dublin at the Freeman’s Journal offices. In the same year, the Dublin electrical service vendors and the municipal council created the Dublin electric light company to provide public street lighting. 
While electric lighting was demonstrated publicly for the first time in Cork City on 5th August 1879, at Queen’s College Cork during the annual meeting of the British Medical Association  the supply of electricity to Cork city was in the hands of the Cork Electric Tramways and Lighting Company, Ltd, which started operations nearly twenty years later in 1898. 
There were twenty independent suppliers of electricity in the county and city of Cork, that supplied over forty-five thousand premises, which were bought out by the ESB in 1930. Unfortunately, there is no record of when each was established but it is safe to assume that St. Ann’s was one of the first.  The first provincial town, outside of Dublin, in Ireland to have electric powered public lighting was Carlow in 1891.