Return of Valentia Island cable series taking place in July

The story of the world's first Transatlantic Cable is an inspiring one. It has many elements including scientific endeavour, innovation, communication, risk taking, entrepreneurship, social responsibility, globalisation and, ultimately, jubilation, as an international team from both sides of the Atlantic collaborated to achieve what was believed to be an impossible task. The Transatlantic Cable reduced the time it took to communicate, dramatically, as what required two weeks by ship could now be done via the deep-sea copper cables in minutes, thus beginning an era of global collaboration.

The then-remote Valentia island in County Kerry played a major role in connecting the old and new worlds for the first time, placing Ireland at the 'cross hairs' of the emerging global communications industry. Indeed, one could say that globalisation began at the edge of the then-modern world with the successful connection of the cable between Valentia and Newfoundland, Canada, connecting London to New York, over 150 years ago. An initiative to propose a transnational application for UNESCO heritage status for both sites is currently ongoing.

In 2018, the 160th anniversary of the first ever message sent from Valentia Island Hearts Content in Newfoundland is being celebrated. Queen Victoria sent the following note of congratulations to President Buchanan of the United States:

"The Queen is convinced that the President will join with her in fervently hoping that the electric cable, which now connects Great Britain with the United States, will prove an additional link between the two places, whose friendship is founded upon their common interests and reciprocal esteem'.'

To commemorate this historic project, the 'Valentia Island Lecture' series - the second such event, taking place on Friday, July 13 - has been established. 

The theme of the event will be "Globalisation - Our Interconnected World".

A very impressive international panel of speakers will include; Irina Bokova, former Director General at UNESCO; Professor Genevieve Bell, Australian National University & Senior Fellow, Intel Corporation; Professor Chris Morash, Vice Provost and the Seamus Heaney Professor in Irish Writing at TCD; andRobert Mauro, Director at Global Leadership Institute at Boston College.

The lecture will be held in the historic cable building in Knightstown at 2pm on the 13th and will be followed by a gala dinner that evening at 7pm in the Royal Hotel. 

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