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Kerry County Council warmly welcomes the announcement by the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien that the Valentia Trans-Atlantic Cable Ensemble is to be included on the new Irish Tentative List of World Heritage Properties to be progressed for World Heritage inscription.

This has been a long-term objective of Kerry County Council since it was initiated by the Valentia Island Development Company in 2012 and has since been strongly supported by the Council, Government Departments and other public and private partners in Ireland and abroad.

Welcoming the announcement, the Cathaoirleach of Kerry County Council, Cllr John Francis Flynn, paid tribute to all involved in the project in bringing it to this stage. ‘I want to thank Kerry County Council for lending this important project its full support from the outset. I also want to salute Micheál Lyne and the members of the Valentia Island Development Company for their ambition and persistence in pursuing this for over a decade.

‘A key private partner has been the Valentia Trans-Atlantic Cable Foundation, led by Leonard Hobbs, who has played a key role in fundraising and promotion of the project and Dr. Donard Cogan, Chairman of the Valentia-Hearts Content Technical Group, all who have given their time on the voluntary basis. I want to remember the late Anthony O’Connell of VIDCO who had spearheaded the project until his death in March 2019.

‘This project has enjoyed cross-party support within Kerry County Council.’

Chief Executive of Kerry County Council, Moira Murrell, acknowledged the Pollmieir family who facilitated the project by gifting the Cable Station to the community in 2018. Ms. Murrell thanked the National Monuments Service, the Department of Rural & Community Development for their financial support for the conservation and adaptation of the Cable Station, Fáilte Ireland for funding the new visitor exhibition in the Cable Station, and the Munster Technological University for its support from the outset.

‘Kerry County Council is committed to working with the community and other partners to ensure the social and economic benefits of the designation to Valentia and wider area are maximised. This is primarily why Kerry County Council embraced this project. We are using it as a lever to regenerate the area and ensure a sustainable future for the people living there,’ she said.

The Valentia Trans-Atlantic Cable Ensemble is one of three projects to make it onto the new Irish Tentative List which was last announced in 2010. The focus now is to complete the works on the Cable Station and progress the application to the next stage which will involve further consultation with the local community, completion of the socio-economic plan, preparation of the joint management plan with Newfoundland/Canada and on the World Heritage nomination dossier, with the Department’s World Heritage Unit, for consideration by UNESCO in Paris. This may take at least five years to complete.

Placing the Valentia Trans-Atlantic Cable Ensemble on the Irish Tentative List for Word Heritage, following independent evaluation, signals that the project has outstanding universal value – the key UNESCO requirement - and merits consideration by UNESCO for World Heritage inscription. Unlike Ireland’s other two World Heritage sites at Skellig Michael and Brú na Boinne, this is an industrial heritage site where people live and work and will continue to do so.

It will also be Ireland’s first trans-national World Heritage application and the Kerry team has been working for several years with its Canadian partners in Hearts Content and Newfoundland, at the western end of the cable, to progress the joint application. Hearts Content is already on the Canadian Tentative List. It is acknowledged that it will take several more years for the joint project to be assessed by UNESCO but this is an enormous step forward for the project and a lot of the groundwork has already been done.

The linking of Europe and North America by undersea electric telegraph cable from Valentia to Newfoundland, first in 1858 and permanently from 1866, revolutionised global communications. It was the precursor of the linked world we have today. Messages that would take 9 days (one way) to cross the Atlantic Ocean by steam ship in 1870 now took minutes to transmit by telegraph. The achievement by Cyrus Field and his colleagues, after several attempts, was one of the great engineering and scientific achievements of the 19th century and Valentia was at its heart. Valentia Cable Station was the hub of Trans-Atlantic telecommunications for the next 100 years, employing up to 200 people directly and supporting an entire island community.

The closure of the Cable Station in 1966 led to a spiral of decline on the island which has been halted and reversed in recent years through community collaboration and public and private investment. The Council has been at the forefront of this regeneration, working closely with the community, and was successful in securing funding under the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund to conserve and adapt the Cable Building as a museum and innovation hub respecting its heritage and tradition as a centre of innovatio

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Sam Maguire to feature at next week’s AugustFest

Killarney Racecourse is set to host the exciting three-day summer horse-racing festival from Thursday August 18 to Saturday 20 inclusive. The festival also marks 200 years of racing at Killarney Races […]




Killarney Racecourse is set to host the exciting three-day summer horse-racing festival from Thursday August 18 to Saturday 20 inclusive. The festival also marks 200 years of racing at Killarney Races offering patrons great racing, history, socialising, entertainment and so much more at Ireland’s most scenic racecourse.

With lots of ticket levels and packages including food and beverage options to choose from, whether it is close to the action general admission tickets or silver service fine dining, there is something for everyone at Killarney Races. Live music, fashion, and fun for all the family complement the best of summer racing at the track this August.

Thursday and Friday are evening meetings and Saturday is an afternoon event with all race cards offering seven thrilling races for spectators to enjoy each day.

Thursday is Sam Maguire evening. And to mark Kerry’s recent success and Killarney Races bi-centenary celebration, Killarney Races are offering an amazing deal on the opening day of their three-day event. On Thursday August 18 patrons will enjoy admission, a racecard and a €5 free bet all for €20! The first race is approximately 5pm with gates open from 3pm. Come early, bring along your jersey and camera, it’s going to be a great evening.

Friday will see the new entrance officially open, as racing officials and elected representatives unlock the gate to the next 200 years at the popular Killarney track, first race at approximately 5pm with gates open from 3pm. With music on the lawn from Donal Lucey and from Tom Cats in the Jim Culloty bar after racing the après racing party is sure to be a ‘winner alright’!

Saturday is AYU Ladies Day and all about the glamour as fashionistas bring the curtain down on AugustFest in fine style. AYU is an Irish based and Irish owned cosmetics company set up by renowned make-up artist Suzie O’Neill. With over €1,500 in prizes for the most stylish ladies to dress up for, what’s not to love! Gates open from 12 noon with the first off at approximately 2pm.

“At AugustFest we will be celebrating a major milestone here at Killarney Races, 200 years of racing in Killarney which is amazing,” Killarney Racecourse Chairman, Gerard Coughlan said.

“I would like to take this opportunity to encourage all locals and visitors to Killarney to come along and be part of the 200 year celebrations and share in this historic moment with us as we officially open the gates on the next 200 years! It’s a rare opportunity to be able to say ‘I was there the day they celebrated the bi-centenary’ anywhere and what a great story to share with the grandchildren in years to come. On that note, we are looking forward to welcoming multiple generations of families during AugustFest, so make a plan and come along and join us for what will be a most remarkable festival at our beautiful boutique racecourse this August!”

The feature race on the opening day of AugustFest is the Vincent O’Brien Ruby Stakes (listed), the Kingdom Gold Cup Handicap of €50,000 and the Gain Advantage Race Series. On Friday, the day two feature is the Grade B Handicap Hurdle of €50,000 and the EBF Novice Hurdle, with four competitive chase races. The final day of the festival the feature is the Grade B Handicap Chase of €50,000.

Adult tickets are available from €20 and children under 14 go free ensuring a great day out for all the family. For those who love a deal, the “Punter’s Pack” is a great value-added option and if you want to live it up check out the Maurice O’Donoghue Suite and Panoramic Restaurant options.

For all ticket details and festival programme information visit

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Jessie Buckley’s album shortlisted for prestigious award

Killarney superstar Jessie Buckley has been shortlisted for the 2022 Mercury Prize Album of the Year. Her collaboration with Bernard Butler ‘For All Our Days That Tear the Heart’ is […]




Killarney superstar Jessie Buckley has been shortlisted for the 2022 Mercury Prize Album of the Year.

Her collaboration with Bernard Butler ‘For All Our Days That Tear the Heart’ is one of 12 albums shortlisted for the prestigious award which will be revealed in London on September 8.

“Neither of us really knew each other and it was actually a blessing in disguise because we met each other in the moment and trusted each other, took a leap of faith and in a way come in just the way we were and not because of who we are,” she told a press conference at the awards announcement in London last week.


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