Sounds and Local Studies

Radio Transmitters

Marconi chose Derrigimalagh Bog in Connemara for the first transatlantic radio staion. He built a receiver at Letterfrack, and traces of this receiver station can be seen on a hill above the village. According to Mary Mulvihill's book 'Ingenious Ireland', (2002) Veldon's pub there has a photographic exhibition about the station.

The first sports radio report was 1898, when Marconi and George Francis Fitzgerald commentated on the Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire) regatta. Ireland's first radio station was opened by the BBC in Belfast in 1924, and the second in Dublin in 1926; Cork got its won station in 1927.

When was radio first received in your area?


Foghorns send out warning sounds to ships in foggy weather.

Is there a lighthouse in your area? If so, find out what the distinctive combination of sounds for its foghorn is. This informs a ship's captain where he is, which is very important in a fog). The lighthouse will also have a distinctive series of flashes known as its characteristic; the captain times the intervals, and then looks up a publication called the Light List to see where he is.

Ireland's First Telephones

Ireland's first telephone line connected the Gresham Hotel on O'Connell Street and Maguire's Hardware on Dawson Street. It opened in January 1878, just 22 months after Alexander Graham Bell made the first voice transmission. Customers were invited at both ends to witness this amazing newfangled device!

Can you find out where the first telephone in your local area was?

Soon there were telephone exchanges where operators made the connections through the telephone exchange. These operators were then replaced by automatic exchanges.

When did this happen?

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