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I had recorded Diarmuid Ring (81) on a previous occasion, when he spoke about his father, who operated under cover in the cable station at Valentia, taking commands from the I.R.B. at Easter 1916. On this occasion I was more interested in recording the life story of Diarmuid himself. The conversation began as he recalled some of the characters who lived on Valentia, and his time spent working with the Western Union International Company. He explained the breaking up of the company, when it sold out to Norman Ross, who at the time was the owner of the Royal Victoria Hotel on the island. In 1966 Diarmuid emigrated to London for a short time to work with the same company and when he returned to the island with his family, he took a job in Cahersiveen, working for a German industrial company.

In the second part of this recording, Diarmuid Ring continued this discussion on the Cahirciveen factory ‘Special Knives’, which had a very colourful and brief existence. The conversation came around to island life, and the ways in which the island has changed over the years. That brought the recording to an end. It was an entertaining and informative one which gave a great insight into the manner in which the people lived and worked on Valentia Island.

Keywords: Valentia Island, Cahirciveen, factory, ‘Special Knives’, island community 1950s, 1960s, Cable Station, Western Union, Norman Ross, Royal Victoria Hotel

Additional information



Audio series:

Kerry county, fourth series


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

43.42 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:



A submarine cable technician

Recorded by:

Maurice O'Keeffe