Join our experts in Architecture, Engineering and Geography as they explore Dublin Airport Terminal and reveal the visionary plans for Shannon Newtown and the Marino Housing Scheme.
Share the journey as they drill down into the Power of Turlough Hill and the Copper Mines of Beara, and uncover the epic history of the Transatlantic Telegraph Cable.




Architect Orla Murphy explores Dublin Airport’s first terminal building, a gem of modernist architecture constructed in the late 1930s. This beautiful building heralded the birth of Modernist Irish architecture and was the gateway to an era of international air travel for an island nation.  Now 80 years old, the terminal building embodies a spirit of innovation and ambition still evident at Dublin Airport.



BUILDING IRELAND - The Transatlantic Telegraph Cable

Engineer Tim Joyce investigates the epic story of the Transatlantic Telegraph Cable and its landing on Valentia Island in Kerry.  The giant cable was dubbed ‘the engineering triumph of its age’ and created the world’s first transcontinental communications system with an impact compared to the advent of the internet.  Laying the cable in the depths of the Atlantic proved to be hugely problematic but once operational, it transformed Valentia Island. The remote south west corner of Ireland became the European hub of the Victorian telecoms industry.



BUILDING IRELAND - The Copper Mines of Beara

Geographer Susan Hegarty is in one of the remotest parts of Ireland to rediscover the extensive copper mines of Allihies.  With our team of experts, she gets unique access to a subterranean world and overground explores the scale of industrial activity in a West Cork Valley.  At its peak, 1,600 miners dug for copper in the Berehaven Copper Mines on the Beara peninsula.  It was the largest copper deposit in Europe at the time and the introduction of steam engine technology increased productivity.  The iconic steam engine houses, now in ruins, once serviced a labyrinth of mineshafts below.



BUILDING IRELAND – The Power of Turlough Hill

Engineer Tim Joyce is exploring a world class engineering project – a power station hidden deep inside a granite mountain in County Wicklow.  A man-made reservoir on top of the mountain is the key to unlocking the power of this innovative scheme, built by Irish engineers in the late 1960s. Tim and the team of experts examine how the reservoir feeds an underground pumped hydro-electric power station – and vice versa.  Turlough Hill Power Station was created in an area of environmental and touristic sensitivity in the days before renewable energy systems even entered the vocabulary.



BUILDING IRELAND - Shannon Newtown

Geographer Susan Hegarty discovers how the success of the Shannon Airport Free Trade Zone sparked the building of Ireland’s first new town in 300 years.  Emerging as a response to rural decline and de-population in the 1950s, new industrial jobs prompted the construction of a new community on a green field site, built to the latest ideas in urban planning.  Shannon Newtown became a multi-cultural oasis in rural Ireland and provided a model of socio economic development that was exported to places like China and changed the lives of millions.



BUILDING IRELAND - The Marino Housing Scheme

Architect Orla Murphy investigates the Garden Suburb of Marino – the first public housing scheme of the Irish Free State.  With a one million pound grant to Dublin Corporation, 1500 houses were built in response to Dublin’s appalling housing crisis.  Revolutionary planning and innovative housing was to be provided for Dublin’s poor – multiple bedrooms, a bathroom, front and back gardens and access to parkland.  Marino has aged well; the design features and layout all still evident and the houses are just as desirable today as they were in the 1920s.