Ireland’s First Radio Broadcast

On the morning of Thursday, 21st July 2016, a Dublin City Council plaque commemorating Ireland’s first international radio broadcast was unveiled on the city’s main thoroughfare.

Located at the Grand Central Bar, 10-11 O’Connell Street, the plaque was unveiled by Denis Naughten, the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources. Minister Naughten praised Joseph Plunkett’s foresight in recognising the power of radio, and the courage of Irish Volunteers such as Liam Daly and John “Blimey” O’Connor in erecting the aerial and apparatus necessary for the radio transmission under heavy fire.

Councillor Mícheál Mac Donncha spoke on behalf of Dublin City Council’s Commemorative Naming Committee, with broadcaster Eugene Murphy also taking part in the unveiling ceremony.

On 25th April 1916, a morse code message written by James Connolly was transmitted from what was then the Wireless School of Telegraphy, declaring to the world that a Republic had been declared in Dublin and the country of Ireland was “rising”.

The plaque was proposed by the Independent Broadcasters of Ireland, RTÉ Radio and the Boys and Girls creative agency as part of the celebration to mark the centenary of broadcasting in Ireland.

Those wishing to learn more about the subject of the plaque should consult Eddie Bohan’s booklet Rebel Radio: Ireland’s First International Radio Station 1916 (Kilmainham Tales, 2016).

Submitted by historian in residence James Curry.