Transatlantic Telegraph Stations

The remoteness and location of the Iveragh peninsula (on the edge of the western sea front) was to prove to be a major asset to the area in the middle 1800’s. Prior to the introduction of the telegraph the Atlantic Ocean was seen as a huge and hazardous barrier between the new world (America) and the old world of Europe. A trip across the Atlantic was generally seen as “one way ticket”  by many of the emigrants who took this trip. The transatlantic telegraph cable changed all that. Its significance to the towns on the Ring of Kerry and the world at large cannot be over emphasised. 

In 1857 the first transatlantic telegraph cable (or cables) was landed in Ballycarbery strand on Valentia island. It was a momentous event.  By the turn of the twenty century six of the ten transatlantic cables that spanned the Atlantic Ocean came from stations on the IveraghPeninsula (Valentia, Ballinskelligs, and Waterville). The introduction of the telegraph stations to south west Kerry was immense and its effects can still be seen to this day in terms development of the villages of Waterville, Valentia and Ballinskelligs. In local language many people still refer to “telegraphers” when discussing friends and relations who worked at the stations. At the time “telegraphers” were skilled and highly paid personnel, and the cable stations taken as an entity were of huge economic benefit to the area. The telephone stations became know locally as "Cable Stations".