Thursday, 21 January 2021

Ceisteanna (135)

Jim O'Callaghan

Ceist:

135. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage his plans to protect the heritage associated with the Anglo-American cable house on Valentia island, County Kerry which is the site of the first transatlantic cable link; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3267/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

In 1858, the first successful transatlantic cable was laid between Knightstown, Valentia Island, Co. Kerry, and Heart’s Content in Newfoundland, Canada. Transatlantic communications were operated from the Telegraph Field between 1865 and 1868. Operations were conducted initially from the Wooden Building until the Anglo-American Cable House replaced it between 1866 and 1868. Thereafter, operations transferred to the Cable Station in Knightstown before they finally ceased in 1966.

The suite of sites associated with the first transatlantic telegraph are of significant importance to the history of communications technology and industrial heritage, and three key sites have been designated as an Architectural Conservation Area under the West Iveragh Local Area Plan. My Department is currently undertaking a review of Ireland’s Tentative List of World Heritage sites and anticipates receiving an application from the local authority with respect to sites associated with the transatlantic telegraph.

The Department will assess whether any such application is suitable for inclusion in the updated Tentative List to be submitted to UNESCO with the benefit of advice from an Expert Advisory Group to be established for this purpose. Key matters for appraisal in this context will be the capacity of the application to demonstrate Outstanding Universal Value and the extent of stakeholder support for the project.

To be deemed of Outstanding Universal Value, a property must be so exceptional as to transcend national boundaries and to be of common importance for present and future generations. It must also meet the conditions relating to integrity and/or authenticity and have an adequate protection and management system in place for all included areas to ensure their Outstanding Universal Value can be adequately safeguarded.

The following revised reply was received on 2 February 2021.

In 1858, the first successful transatlantic cable was laid between Knightstown, Valentia Island, Co. Kerry, and Newfoundland, Canada. Transatlantic communications were operated from the Telegraph Field between 1865 and 1868. Operations were conducted initially from the Wooden Building until the Anglo-American Cable House replaced it between 1866 and 1868. Thereafter, operations transferred to the Cable Station in Knightstown before they finally ceased in 1966.

The suite of sites associated with the first transatlantic telegraph are of significant importance to the history of communications technology and industrial heritage, and three key sites have been designated as an Architectural Conservation Area under the West Iveragh Local Area Plan. My Department is currently undertaking a review of Ireland’s Tentative List of World Heritage sites and anticipates receiving an application from the local authority with respect to sites associated with the transatlantic telegraph.

The Department will assess whether any such application is suitable for inclusion in the updated Tentative List to be submitted to UNESCO with the benefit of advice from an Expert Advisory Group to be established for this purpose. Key matters for appraisal in this context will be the capacity of the application to demonstrate Outstanding Universal Value and the extent of stakeholder support for the project.

To be deemed of Outstanding Universal Value, a property must be so exceptional as to transcend national boundaries and to be of common importance for present and future generations. It must also meet the conditions relating to integrity and/or authenticity and have an adequate protection and management system in place for all included areas to ensure their Outstanding Universal Value can be adequately safeguarded.

Question No. 136 answered with Question No. 124.