The Dublin United Tramways Company was a private conglomerate that operated most of the city's trams. It was dominated by a journalist and businessman named William Martin Murphy.
Beginning in 1871, several different companies laid tracks for urban tramlines to various points in central Dublin and its near suburbs, and eventually to the more distant tourist locales of Poulaphouca Falls and Howth. Murphy founded the DUTC in 1881 and began merging companies, installing himself as Chairman of the conglomerate. Beginning in 1896 the company began the electrification of its trams, which had previously been horse-drawn. Most of Dublin's trams were electrified by early 1901.