For a small town on the edge of Europe, Clifden has had a substantial impact on the development of the world as we now know it. Guglielmo Marconi selected the area as the base for his research into radio signals. The Marconi Radio Station on the outskirts of Clifden transmitted the first transatlantic radio signal proving the technology that has led to all of the wireless activities that we now take for granted, such as mobile phones, internet and international telecommunications.
John Alcock and Arthur Brown were the first pilots to successfully cross the Atlantic by plane and they landed in the Derrygimlagh Bog, three miles outside of Clifden town. This was a tremendous step in the history of flight that has led to our current demand for international air travel. Whenever you board a plane, think of those pioneers who had to test the boundaries of flight and consider how international travel has developed from a bog in Connemara to the high tech aviation world that we now take for granted.
Richard “Humanity Dick” Martin was MP for Connemara and is regarded as one of the founders of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, as well as being particularly active in seeking human rights for the Irish population. The Martin family once owned Ballynahinch Castle, close to Clifden town.