(St. John’s, NL, February 20, 2018) Irish Tourism Minister Brendan Griffin told a gathering of Irish cultural and heritage organizations in St. John’s that he and the Irish delegation visiting Newfoundland will be actively promoting the Valentia Cable Station and Heart’s Content Station as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
In December the Canadian government announced the Heart’s Content Cable Station Provincial Historic Site as one of eight new sites added to Canada’s Tentative List for World Heritage, as part of a trans-boundary nomination with Valentia, Ireland.
The first successful trans-Atlantic cable was laid between Heart’s Content and Valentia, Ireland, in 1866, establishing both communities as international communications centres for over a century. After closing in 1965, the Heart’s Content Cable Station was designated a Provincial Historic Site, and currently is one of the best preserved 19th century telegraph cable stations worldwide.
Since 2013, the Provincial Government has been in regular discussions with Valentia/Kerry County Council, the Irish UNESCO office in Dublin, the Town of Heart’s Content, and the Canadian UNESCO Office in Ottawa regarding a possible trans-boundary UNESCO World Heritage Site Designation to recognize the first successful transatlantic cable between Heart’s Content and Valentia.
The Newfoundland Irish organizations, the local diaspora, meeting with Minister Brendan Griffin included the Benevolent Irish Society, Irish Connections and the Irish Newfoundland Association.
Also included in the gathering was Niall Gibbons, Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland. Tourism Ireland (Turasóireacht Éireann) is the marketing body responsible for marketing the island of Ireland overseas.
The island of Ireland (which includes both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland) received 8 million visitors during 2015, a 14% growth over the 2014.
The diaspora Irish in Newfoundland and Labrador include the Irish Newfoundland Association, represented by larry Dohey and Adrian Coady; Irish Connections represented by Kyran Dwyer and the Benevolent Irish Society represented by John Fitzgerald and Robert Gillard.
This article was written by Larry Dohey