You can hire a bike in Connemara's 'capital' Clifden and strike out across the starkly strange blanket bog, a mosaic of tiny lakes and peat crossed by a single narrow road, to uncover two remarkable events of 20th century history. Stick to the Bog Road and soon you'll pass the scattered remnants of the world's first permanent trans-Atlantic radio station, built by Marconi more than a century ago and burned to the ground during the Irish War of Independence. At its peak it employed several hundred people, transmitting world news across the ocean. Close-by is a white aeroplane wing-shaped memorial to Alcock and Brown, who crash landed, uninjured, into Derrigimlagh Bog in 1919 at the end of the first non-stop flight across the Atlantic. In this lonely spot, two resonant examples of the western seaboard's trans-Atlantic ties. "Next parish, Manhattan", as the say in these parts.
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