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Countess Markievicz spent 4 months here in Cork City Gaol.
Photography by Barry McCarthy


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100 Years of Radio

100 years of radio

100 years of radio

100 years of radio

100 years of radio

Ireland’s first radio broadcast was transmitted at 5:30pm, Easter Tuesday, April 25th, 1916, a Morse code message that proclaimed an Irish Republic. To mark this historic event a plaque to celebrate 100 years of radio broadcasting will be unveiled today.

The Independent Broadcasters of Ireland and RTE Radio have organised for the plaque to be positioned on the outside wall of the ‘Grand Central’ on O’Connell Street, Dublin.

The first radio broadcast in Ireland was to announce the beginning of the Easter Rising in April 1916.

The dramatic story of the birth of Irish radio during the 1916 Rising was re-enacted on air simultaneously by 37 radio stations nationwide on Monday, April 25th 2016 at 5.30pm, one hundred years to the original date and exact time of the declaration of the Irish Republic, Ireland & first broadcast to the nation and the world. In a joint initiative between RTE Radio and the Independent Broadcasters of Ireland (IBI) a highly evocative 80 second Morse code themed radio experience devised by Dublin based creative agency Boys and Girls and titled, The Sound of Sixteen, imagines the battling sounds and dangerous atmosphere of the times. It also reprises the Morse code message written by James Connolly and transmitted by Marconi operator David Burke. That first Easter Tuesday message read: “Irish Republic declared in Dublin today. Irish troops have captured city and are in full possession. Enemy cannot move in city. The whole country rising.”

The broadcast took place 190 metres from the GPO at what was then The Wireless School of Telegraphy at 10-11 Sackville Street (now O’Connell Street). The full story of the drama that unfolded around the build up to the first broadcast (and subsequently) is told at

You can listen to a clip right here!



In 1927, Cork City Gaol hosted one of Ireland’s earliest radio broadcasts, the simple sound of cartwheels on cobbles. The last broadcast from the Gaol was as recent as June 2016 when RTÉ lyric fm commissioned is this on? a work for radio from renowned Irish composer Karen Power to mark the place of that first broadcast and to pay tribute to the profoundly significant contributions by woman to Ireland’s turbulent history in the early twentieth century. It was performed in concert at the Cork City Gaol and broadcast live on Nova, RTÉ lyric fm on  June 2016.

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