Valentia Island (Irish: Dairbhre), also spelled Valencia Island, is one of Ireland's westernmost points, lying off the Iveragh Peninsula in the southwest of County Kerry, Ireland. It is part of the new Wild Atlantic Way coastal route. It is linked to the mainland by the Maurice O'Neill Memorial bridge at Portmagee, as well as by a car ferry which sails from Reenard Point to Knightstown, the island's main settlement. The permanent population of the island is 713 (CSO 2006), and the island is approximately 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) long by almost 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) wide. Valentia was the eastern terminus of the first commercially viable transatlantic telegraph cable. The first attempt in 1857 to land a cable from Ballycarbery Strand on the mainland just east of Valentia Island ended in disappointment. After subsequent failures of cables landed at Knightstown in 1858 and Foilhommerum Bay in 1865, the vast endeavor finally resulted in commercially viable transatlantic telegraph communications from Foilhommerum Bay to Heart's Content, Newfoundland in 1866. Transatlantic telegraph cables operated from Valentia Island for one hundred years, ending with Western Union International terminating its cable operations in 1966.
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