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Commemorative plaque unveiled to celebrate 100 years of Irish Radio

Photo Plauqe unveilingMinister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Denis Naughten has unveiled a plaque to commemorate Irelands first radio broadcast, which took place 100 years ago to announce the Easter Rising.

The first radio broadcast was a morse code message written by James Connolly and transmitted on Easter Tuesday, 1916 which read; Irish Republic declared in Dublin today. Irish troops have captured city and are in full possession. Enemy cannot move in city. The while country rising”.

The broadcast took place close to the GPO in what was then The Wireless School of Telegraphy at 10-11 Sackville Street. The building now houses
The Grand Central Bar on what we now know as O’Connell Street.

The plaque was proposed by the Independent Broadcasters of Ireland (IBI), RTÉ Radio and Boys and Girls Creative agency as part of the
celebration of radio’s unique role in the 1916 Rising.

John Purcell, Chairman of IBI said “Radio’s part in the 1916 Easter Rising is a little known fact, even amongst radio people in Ireland. This commemorative plaque reminds us of the endurable nature of radio, the power of the medium of radio to reach people and to share the news of the day. More importantly, it is a timely reminder of the important role that radio has played in the lives of the people of Ireland for well over 100 years.

Head of RTÉ Radio 1, Tom McGuire said: “RTÉ is honoured to be a part of this historic occasion to mark 100 years since the birth of broadcasting in Ireland. This historic event where Morse code, which was a precursor to radio, was used to send a message to the world about the Easter Rising. It is pertinent that Ireland’s first radio station, Raidió Éireann began broadcasting from a spot close by a decade later in 1926.

Rory Hamilton of Boys and Girls said; “The Sound of Sixteen set out to mark the 100th anniversary of Ireland’s first ever radio broadcast, so to be able to end the campaign by physically marking the broadcast site is something we’re all very proud of.”

Minster for Communications Denis Naughten, T.D. siad: “The foresight of Joseph Plunkett who recognised the power of the medium is a striking feature of this story. In commemorating his actions, we must also acknowledge the courage of the volunteers such as Liam Daly and John “Blimey” O’Connor amongst others who erected the transmission aerial and apparatus needed and their bravery in doing so under heavy fire. Radio in Ireland has come a long way from 2RN broadcasting from Little Denmark Street in 1926 to a more recent celebrations of over 25 years of independent broadcasting. Of course Athlone in my constituency was home to the main radio transmission centre from the early 1930s to 1975. The quality of Irish radio is beyond question which both RTÉ and independent radio stations winning various awards at the new York festival earlier this year. It has withstood social, economic and technological change, while becoming an integral part of our social and political discourse and a valued part of our communities. Its success i evident with 83% of Irish adults tuning in daily and listening for almost 4 hours a day”.

The commemorative plaque is part of Dublin City Councils celebrations of the 1916 Rising and the plaque celebrating 100 years of Irish radio is the latest in a series of plaques unveiled throughout the city during 2016 to highlight places of historical interest

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