Sixth Valentia Lecture to Celebrate Globalization with Opening of New Exhibition

At this year’s Valentia Lecture, US, Irish and Canadian ambassadors and local entrepreneurs will talk about remote working in a global era.

Valentia, Co Kerry will be the venue for a new transatlantic cable visitor experience opening tomorrow (July 21). The experience, called The Eighth Wonder, opens ahead of the sixth Valentia lecture on July 22.

The lecture focuses on the theme of globalization. It is held at the cable station in Valentia.

Valentia is best known as the location of a submarine transatlantic telegraph cable connecting Ireland to North America. The 3,000-mile cable was revolutionary in the 1800s when it was installed. It reduced communication time between the two sites from weeks to just minutes.

Now tourists and locals alike can visit the cable station and its new interactive visitor experience, which gives them an insight into what communication was like in the 19th century.

The first message sent over the cable was a congratulatory note from Queen Victoria to US President James Buchanan. It was shipped from Valentia Island in Kerry to Newfoundland, Canada. This was the first step and in July 1866 a permanent link was established between Valentia and Hearts Content in Newfoundland.

The Eight Wonder visitor experience tells of these historical developments, considered the 19th-century equivalent of placing a person on the moon.

The new exhibition was supported by Fáilte Ireland as part of the New Horizons on the Wild Atlantic Way Grants Scheme 2018.

After the opening of the exhibition, the Valentia Lecture will take place on Friday 22 July from 2 to 4:15 pm. The lecture will be recorded and made available online later in the month.

It features HE Claire Cronin, the US Ambassador to Ireland, as well as author, presenter and commentator, Eddie Hobbs. Both will speak on the topic of globalization. There will also be a panel discussion on the topic of ‘Regional development redefined in a world of remote work’.

HE Nancy Smyth, Canadian Ambassador to Ireland, is joined by June O’Connell, Founding Director, Skellig Distillers Limited; Garry Connolly, President and Founder, Host in Ireland; and Councilor Norma Moriarity.

In the evening there will be an online “link-up” with Hearts Content in Newfoundland Canada. This will take place from 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM. It will include a greeting from each country’s ambassadors and a fireside conversation where young contributors from both sides of the Atlantic will share their thoughts on the ‘future of the global citizen’, along with a musical exchange.

The lecture will be followed by a gala dinner at a nearby hotel, at which Minister Norma Foley will deliver a speech. There will also be an address from Shay Walsh, director of BT Ireland, who is a sponsor of the Valentia Transatlantic Cable Foundation.

During last year’s talk, CNN journalist and Kerry man Donie O’Sullivan, as well as Máiread McGuinness, Máiread McGuinness addressed the audience. Silicon Republic CEO Ann O’Dea addressed the event in 2020.

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