Transatlantic cable festival: Celebrating 150 years of global communications

150 years ago one of the largest ships of its time, with Wicklow’s Captain Robert Haplin at the helm, set out from Valentia Island on a journey to complete an extraordinary feat of intercontinental engineering. Over the course of two weeks the crew of the Great Eastern would lay 2,730 nautical miles of telegraph cables from Valentia Island to Newfoundland in Canada, successfully connecting the two continents for the first time. This was the very beginning of global communications as we know it. 

Valentia Island is celebrating the anniversary of this momentous occasion with their Transatlantic Telegraph Cable 150th Anniversary Festival running from the 13th – 17th of July.


Perfect setting: Valentia Island

The five day festival has an exciting programme of events including music, lectures, walks and talks, a parade, fireworks display, robotic workshop, cable swim. Visitors can learn the full story of this amazing moment in history in the Transatlantic Cable exhibition in the heritage centre.

The festival will open Wednesday evening with a remembrance walk which will end at the Cable Monument where the festival will be officially opened in a ceremony with music from the Valentia Pipe Band and there will be a spectacular fireworks display over the bay.

The festival runs from 13th – 17th and it’s the perfect excuse to get away to Valentia Island.

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About the Author

Ann Robinson
Has a passion for coastal heritage and maritime history. Loves sharing the best of the Irish coast online. Contact me or follow me on Twitter @AnnRobinson22