History of CIGRÉ Irish National Committee

History of CIGRÉ Irish National Committee

In 1948, Dr. Robert C. (Bob) Cuffe , Divisional Engineer of ESB’s Planning and Development Division, attended the CIGRÉ session in Paris. In 1952, he became the first individual CIGRÉ member from Ireland and also attended the 1952 session. During the 1952 session Bob discussed with J. Tribot Laspiere, the General Delegate and Vice President of CIGRÉ, the possibility of establishing a National Committee in Ireland.

In April 1953 Bob sent a formal letter to a wide range of people involved in the electricity supply industry and electrical engineering to establish interest in forming a national committee. ESB became a collective member in 1954, and three ESB engineers, including Bob Cuffe, attended the 1954 session.

A meeting to establish the Irish National Committee was finally held on 31st January 1955. A provisional committee was appointed: Mr. P. G. Murphy, Chief Engineer, ESB, Mr. A. J. Litton. Assistant Chief Engineer, Department of Posts and Telegraphs, Professor J. J. Morrissey, Professor of Electrical Engineering, University College, Dublin, Dr. J. J. O’Doherty, Head of Transmission Department, ESB and Dr. Cuffe, The new committee met formally on 30th March and M. Tribot Laspiere was informed by letter dated 1st April 1955 of the new committee. P. G. Murphy was elected first chairman, and Dr. Bob Cuffe was the first secretary. Interestingly, at that first meeting the committee decided that “… it would be very valuable to have some younger members on the National Committee…” However, approval from Paris of the committee’s constitution was
required first.

At the same meeting, the preparation of papers for the 1956 session was discussed. Two papers from Ireland were to be put forward: one on earth faults on the 110 kV and 38 kV systems by Messrs. Leech and Tinney, and one on measurement of generator stability angles by Messrs. Byrne and Carroll. Since then, and even though for many years Ireland did not have a paper allocation, there has been at least one paper from Ireland at every CIGRÉ session. Indeed in 1986, when the Irish National Committee asked for a formal paper allocation, Mme Doury replied stating that there was an “unwritten rule” that one or two papers from Ireland would always be accepted. Ireland finally received an allocation of one paper in 1998. The allocation has now been increase to three however given the very high calibre of Irish papers we can have more papers accepted. In 2012 the INC had a record nine papers accepted at Paris.