On the weekend of May 31st to June 4th, 2013, Valentia will host an event entitled “The Transatlantic Communications and Light Gathering.” This will include the launch of an International Heritage project, celebrating the historic contribution that Valentia has made to technology of the modern age - linking Europe to North America with the Transatlantic Cable. As part of this weekend the importance of Valentia’s link to the Transatlantic Cable and the opportunity to explore its significant International heritage will be looked at.

Among the prestigious names attending this weekend will be Professor Alexander Gillespie. Professor Gillespie is the first New Zealander to be named Rapporteur for the World Heritage Convention, involving international environmental diplomacy. Professor Gillespie is also the legal and policy advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Department of Conservation and provides commissioned work for the United Nations, the Commonwealth Secretariat, and commercial and non-governmental organisations in New Zealand, Australia, United States, United Kingdom and Switzerland.

IT Tralee are also involved in the event. Mary Rose Stafford (Manager of the Irish Academy of Hospitality and Tourism, IT Tralee) said, ‘Professor Gillespie has worked closely with staff and students here at IT Tralee for the past two years. In 2011 he gave a seminar on Kerry’s World Heritage potential, referring to the many heritage attractions in the County, he is now returning to highlight Valentia’s international heritage significance.’

One of the highlights of the event will be a Gala Dinner which will be attended by Minister Jimmy Deenihan along with a host of other dignitaries.

In addition to this, the Island will host the opening of the Cromwell Point Lighthouse, which will allow access to the public for the very first time. Valentia is inviting all those with a connection to the Island back for this weekend of celebration.

This is an event that will celebrate the island’s rich heritage with the Transatlantic Cable and communications will be a major theme over the weekend. All three communications elements on the Island; the cable station, the radio station, and the lighthouse will be explored through a series of insightful and interesting lectures.

There will also be the opportunity to take various tours of these significant sites. As well as soaking up the traditional island welcome and some great live music this weekend will afford you the opportunity to mingle in the company of friends old and new. ‘We aim to celebrate with the wider community, to reunite the family descendants’ who were part of that glorious age, and also tell the world that Valentia is ready to once again take its rightful place as a centre for heritage preservation and communications innovation,’ said Anthony O’Connell, one of the organisers.

For more information on this exciting event, call Valentia Island Tourist Office on +353 (66) 9476985 or email valentiaislandtouristoffice@gmail.com

Valentia IslandFacebook Coastguard Patch, Valentia Island, Co. Kerry