Valentia Island marks 160th anniversary of first cable message sent across the Atlantic

A day of celebrations is taking place in Valentia Island today, to mark the 160th anniversary of the first cable message sent across the Atlantic.

The first cable message was sent in 1858 by Queen Victoria to the then president of the US, James Buchanan.

The cable station building will be handed over by the current owner, Ranke Pollmeier, to the people of Kerry today.


The telegram, which was sent on August 16th 1858, read: “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 coincide with the occasion, the historic cable station building will be handed over by the current owner, Ranka Pollmeier, to the people of Kerry.

The second Valentia Island lecture on Globalisation is also taking place there today with speakers from Canada, the US, Europe and Australia.

It is expected that plans will also be announced for the transformation of the cable station into a major heritage/interpretive site aimed at attracting more tourists to the region.

The Valentia Transatlantic Cable Foundation is currently pursuing a transnational application for UNESCO world heritage status for both their site and the one created in Canada to take the Queen Victoria cable.

This would be Ireland’s first and only transnational site, and the first and only industrial heritage site for Ireland to be considered for UNESCO World Heritage status.