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Valentia Island

Valentia Island is closely connected to mainland Kerry by both bridge and ferry links, regular public transport, and a central hub within the Skellig Coast, located just off the main Ring of Kerry route. The world famous Skellig Islands are located just 12km off the coast of the island. While staying in or touring around the island, you can visit the Skellig Experience Visitor Centre or the Valentia Island Lighthouse.

The Valentia Island Translatlantic Cable station experience recounts Valentia's incredible role in the history of global communications. Over 150 years ago, the first successful transatlantic telegraph cable was laid between Valentia Island in Ireland and Heart’s Content in Newfoundland, Canada.  Prior to the laying of the Transatlantic Cable it took approximately two weeks from a message to reach North America from Europe.

Following many efforts, failures and attempts, on the 5th August 1858 two continents were finally joined - between Valentia Harbour in Ireland and Trinity Bay in Newfoundland. On 16 August communication was established with the message “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, good will to men.” 

In May 2016, the Valentia Transatlantic Cable Foundation Board was established to assist the Valentia Island Development Company with fundraising for the Transatlantic Cable UNESCO World Heritage Designation project. The Transatlantic Cable Ensemble (comprised of the Valentia Transatlantic Cable Station in Kerry, and its counterpart station, Heart's Content, in Newfoundland, Canada) is currently on the UNESCO World Heritage Convention tentative list. As described on the tentative list entry, these ensemble sites are a "surviving testimony to the outstanding genius and perseverance behind this remarkable scientific and engineering feat, which many at the time believed to be impossible."

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Stories from Kerry

Grounded in heritage yet open to ideas, Kerry is a place to gain and share perspective. Keep exploring the county with our latest blogs.