Ireland transmits 1916 Rebellion becoming the world’s first radio broadcast

Published Categorized as history, radio, The Media Show Tagged ,

Witness testimony of Fergus O’Kelly. read by Brian Greene for The Media Show

In 1964, Marshal McLuhan, Canadian philosopher of communication theory, wrote of the incident, The Irish Rebels used a ship’s radio to make, not a point-to-point message, but a diffused broadcast in hope of getting word to any ship that would relay their story to the American press. This is widely accepted as the world’s first radio broadcast.

On Wednesday another message was sent which read: British troops have been repulsed with great slaughter in the attempt to take the Irish position. The people are wildly enthusiastic for the new government.

Imagine the surprise when one of the ships that received this message was the British warship HMS Adventure anchored at Dun Laoghaire, just south of Dublin. Sadly, by Friday the broadcasts ceased and the Rising was all over.