The Marconi Site at Derrygimlagh

In June 1919, aviators John Alcock and Arthur Brown etched their names in history by completing the first non-stop Transatlantic flight. Alcock and Brown participated in the competition initiated by the Daily Mail for the first non-stop transatlantic flight, offering a prize of ten thousand pounds to the first individual accomplishing the feat in under 72 hours using a single aircraft. Soaring from Newfoundland, Canada, to Clifden, Ireland, in a Vickers Vimy aircraft, the daring duo achieved an aviation milestone that captured the world’s imagination.

Facing unpredictable weather and relentless challenges they crash-landed in Derrygimlagh bog after more than 16 hours in the air.  Alcock and Brown’s journey was a testament to human courage and pioneering spirit. Their historic feat marked a turning point in aviation, inspiring generations of aviators to dream beyond the limits of the skies not only did they secure their place in history but they also paved the way for a new era of long-distance flight. Their daring Transatlantic expedition stands as an enduring symbol of human perseverance, pushing the boundaries of what was once thought impossible in the world of aviation.

Memorials commemorating the historic flight were erected near the landing site close to Clifden. One is a solitary cairn, located just over two miles south of Clifden, marking the site of Marconi’s inaugural transatlantic radio station, where Alcock and Brown transmitted their success to London. This memorial stands about a quarter of a mile from their actual landing spot. Additionally, a plane’s tail-fin sculpture on Errislannan Hill, approximately a mile north of the landing site, was installed to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the landing on June 15, 1959. Furthermore, memorial statues were raised at Heathrow and Manchester Airports to honor this remarkable achievement.

The official presentation of the New Alcock & Brown Statue occurred in Clifden on March 6, 2020. This statue was generously gifted to Clifden by Sean & Bernardine Mulryan and was officially revealed by British Ambassador Robin Barnett.