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The Foundation

In May 2016, the Valentia Transatlantic Cable Foundation Board was established to assist the Valentia Island Development Company with fundraising for the Transatlantic Cable UNESCO World Heritage Designation project.

The foundation was incorporated as a company limited by guarantee in December 2016 with the objective of the raising and application of money and other resources to advance the scientific heritage of, and community development on, Valentia Island and to promote Valentia Island as a site which should be included on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

The foundation’s goal is to secure the required support and funding (estimated to be approximately €4.5m) by raising the profile of the project at national and international level while engaging with state funding opportunities and private donors.

The Current 2024 Board members are:

Leonard Hobbs

(Chairperson) Intel Ireland

Michael Lyne

Valentia Island Development Company

John Cuddigan

Ronan Daly Jermyn

Mary Rose Stafford

Munster Technological University

John Griffin

Former Tourism Officer, Kerry County Council

Fiona Lyne

IFIC, Valentia

Vincent Kidd

Valentia Island Development Company

Kate Hickey

Ireland Canada Business Association

Sean Ryan

Aspen Grove

Ian Duggan


Seamus Walsh

BT Ireland.

Strong links have also been established with the Deputy Minister for Arts and Culture in Newfoundland, Mr Gerry Osmond, previous Ambassadors to Ireland from Canada, Mr Loyola Hearn and Mr Kevin Vickers, and current Ambassador, Ms Nancy Smyth. Kerry County Council is working closely with the government of Newfoundland pursuing in a joint bid for inscription as a UNESCO heritage status between Valentia and the Hearts Content site.

Foundation Board Member February 2017 | Valentia Transatlantic Cable Foundation

Original 2016 Foundation Board Members: Standing Left to Right: Anthony O'Connell, Leonard Hobbs, Mary Rose Stafford, Moira Murrell, John Griffin Seated Left to Right: Dennis Jennings, Michael Lyne, Martin Shanahan Not pictured: Bob Joyce, Seamus Walsh, Mark Redmond

Welcome from the Chairman

On behalf of the board of the Valentia Transatlantic Cable Foundation, I am delighted to welcome you to our website. The objective of our Foundation is to achieve UNESCO World Heritage status for Valentia Island in recognition of its role in the successful implementation of the first transatlantic cable which heralded the start of global communications and the globalisation phenomena which continue to shape our world today. I hope you enjoy browsing through the various pages and learning about our exciting project.


The story which began over 150 years ago is an inspiring one which includes many elements including scientific endeavour, innovation, communication, risk taking, entrepreneurship, social responsibility, globalisation and ultimately jubilation as an international team from both sides of the Atlantic collaborated to achieve what was believed to be an impossible task. The Transatlantic cable reduced the time it took to communicate dramatically as what required 2 weeks by ship could now be done via the deep sea copper cables in minutes, thus beginning an era of global collaboration.


As you will learn elsewhere on this website, we have ambitious plans to restore the key historical sites to their former glory as we pursue UNESCO World Heritage status and to create a place which recalls the wondrous technological achievements of a time past while driving opportunities for Valentia in the future. We hope that you will join us on this journey and we look forward to hearing from you.


Chairperson Signature | Valentia Transatlantic Cable Foundation

Leonard Hobbs