Caherciveen to Waterville the long way

From Cahersiveen To Waterville Via New York

While presiding at the Court House at Cahersiveen between 1886 and 1891 I frequently stayed at Waterville, ten miles distant, my hotel being beautifully situated on the shore of Lough Currane. While staying there, I made the acquaintance of Mr. Wilmot, the Superintendent of the American telegraph line, which started from that place. He kindly showed me over the works.

I was often astonished and interested to see the rapidity with which he could get a reply from New York, a fraction of a second only intervening between question and answer. There is a second line starting from Valentia some miles away. On one occasion, passing through Cahersiveen on my way to Waterville, I called at the post office to send a telegram to the Waterville Hotel, ordering dinner. To my astonishment I was there informed that though they could wire to New York or Dublin, there was no line to or from Waterville. While speaking to the postmaster on the subject, I saw Mr. Wilmot, and explained to him my difficulty. "Oh," said he, "I will make that all right for you. Tell me the message you wish to have sent." I did as he requested. "Now, " he added, "I will send it on to New York, through Valentia, with directions to have it sent back to Waterville on the other line." This he did, and I subsequently ascertained that Miss McElligott, the hotel-keeper, must have received the telegram a very short time after I had seen it sent off on its long journey to and from New York. Dinner was ready at Waterville when I arrived.

Judge Curran: Reminiscences of John Adye Curran K.C. (London 1915).

There are several versions of this story from the undersea telegraph days... Note that either spelling of Caherciveen seems acceptable ! Newspaper cutting from Jim Hewison.