The Historical Significance of the Transatlantic Cable

In the mid-19th century, a monumental achievement revolutionised global communication: the laying of the Transatlantic Cable. This engineering marvel connected Europe and North America, reducing communication times from weeks to mere minutes. Today, its legacy continues to influence the innovation ecosystem in County Kerry and beyond.  Discover the history and significance of the Transatlantic Cable and join us at the upcoming Valentia Lecture, which celebrates its enduring impact.

A Revolutionary Feat Transforming Global Communication

In 1854, visionary entrepreneur Cyrus Field embarked on an ambitious project to lay a telegraph cable across the Atlantic Ocean, connecting Valentia Island in Ireland to Heart's Content in Newfoundland, Canada. This endeavor required overcoming numerous technical and logistical challenges, including laying a cable twenty times longer than any previously attempted and ensuring it could transmit signals across vast ocean depths.


The successful completion of the Transatlantic Cable in 1866 marked a new era in global communications, enabling near-instantaneous communication between continents. Valentia Island became a critical node in this network, earning its place as the birthplace of global telecommunications. The cable's success spurred further technological advancements and laid the groundwork for the interconnected world we live in today. Having played a crucial role in this historical achievement, Valentia island became a hub of technological innovation and a symbol of Ireland's contribution to global communication. Today, Valentia Island continues to inspire innovation and creativity, fostering a vibrant innovation ecosystem in County Kerry.

The Lasting Influence on Kerry's Innovation Ecosystem

The legacy of the Transatlantic Cable has left an indelible mark on County Kerry. The spirit of innovation that characterised the cable's construction continues to thrive, attracting companies, startups, and researchers to the region. County Kerry has leveraged its historical significance to build a dynamic innovative, creative community which continue to succeed on a global scale. Initiatives like the Valentia Lecture serve as platforms for knowledge sharing, networking, and celebrating the region's innovative spirit.


Celebrate the Transatlantic Cable on July 19th 2024

We are excited to invite you to join us on July 19th for the annual Valentia Lecture event, which promises to be a significant gathering, focusing on the theme "Transatlantic Relations – a Beacon in a Turbulent World." This year's lecture will feature keynote presentations by Senator Jerry Buttimer and Mr. Billy Kelleher, MEP, who will delve into the importance and impact of transatlantic relations in today's global landscape.


Keynote Speakers and Panelists

These dynamic panelists will share their insights and visions for Ireland in 2040, reflecting on the current state of the nation and its future in a globally interconnected world.


Unique Aspects of the Event

  • Transatlantic Connection: The event will include an online "link-up" with Hearts Content in Newfoundland, Canada. This segment will feature greetings from the Ambassadors of both countries, symbolizing the enduring connection between Ireland and Canada.
  • Documentary Screening: On the eve of the event, July 18th, there will be a special viewing of the new Tyrone Productions documentary, "The Cable that Changed the World," followed by a Q&A session with the documentary producers via Zoom.


Event Schedule

  • July 18th:
    • 8:00 PM: Special viewing of the documentary "The Cable that Changed the World" at the Royal Hotel, followed by a Q&A session.
  • July 19th:
    • 1:30 PM – 2:00 PM: Guests Arrive
    • 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM: Plenary Key Notes: "Transatlantic Relations – a Beacon in a Turbulent World"
    • 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM: Panel Discussion: Ireland's Future Leaders, "A Vision for Ireland in 2040"
    • 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM: Connecting with Canada, greetings from the Ambassadors
    • 8:00 PM – 11:30 PM: Gala Dinner at the Royal Hotel


The Valentia Lecture will be held at the historic Cable Station in Knightstown, Co. Kerry, starting at 1:00 PM. The event will conclude with a gala dinner at the Royal Hotel, offering an opportunity for further networking and discussion. Tickets for the lecture are complimentary, but registration is required to reserve a space. Tickets for the Gala Dinner are available for €60.00. Seats are limited, so don't miss this opportunity to be part of a historic celebration. 

Register for the Valentia Lecture or contact for more information.


Exploring Valentia Island and Region

And while attending the Valentia Lecture, take the opportunity to explore  Valentia Island and the surrounding region. Visit the Skellig Experience Visitor Centre and marvel at the Valentia Island Lighthouse. After soaking in the history, take a leisurely stroll along the island's scenic trails, explore the rugged cliffs of Geokaun Mountain, or enjoy water sports or a boat trip along Kerry's coast. With its blend of natural beauty, historical significance, and endearing local culture, Valentia Island promises an unforgettable adventure and experience.



The Transatlantic Cable stands as a testament to human ingenuity and perseverance. Its legacy continues to inspire innovation in County Kerry. The Valentia Lecture offers a unique opportunity to celebrate this legacy, connect with like-minded individuals, and explore future possibilities. Join us in honoring the past and shaping the future.