3rd Year: Transport and Communications in 20th Century Ireland

Main Page: Social Change in 20th Century Ireland

Dublin trams, then and now.
By now you've seen how many things have changed from the beginning to the end of the 20th century in Ireland. The last two areas you look at (together) are transport and communcations, two areas which have changed a huge amount. People in Ireland in 1900 were barely able to imagine airplanes. The internet didn't exist as an idea until the middle of the century, and that was in America. You'll look at how transport in Ireland went from the horse and cart to the cars and buses we're all familiar with now. We did away with trams for a while, but they came back in 2004 as the Luas. You might remember from learning about de Valera's government that Aer Lingus was created in the 1930s. Here you'll learn more about how Irish air and sea travel grew.

You'll also look at communications, by which we mean newspapers, radio and television (and now, the internet as well), and how their growth and change have affected Ireland.

The Irish Examiner, in 1922 (as the Cork Examiner) and in 2011.

  • Transport: Trams, Trains, Ships, Influence of Travel, Modern developments (air, ferries, problems)
  • Communications: Telegraph, Telephones, Newspapers, Mass Media, Television.

Click here for exam questions you can be asked about this topic. (Higher and Ordinary)

The RMS Titanic in Cork Harbour, 1912

CIÉ: The History of Transport in Ireland
Coras Iompair Éireann (the company that owns Bus Éireann, Dublin Bus and Iarnród Éireann) have a feature on the long history of transport in Ireland, complete with images.

Irish Railways, 1946 - 1996
More information on older Irish railways, including older rail companies.

Iarnród Éireann: History
The Irish Rail company, along with the Scouts, put together a PDF document on the history of trains in Ireland, as well as information on how trains work.

Aer Lingus: History
Interested in air travel? Aer Lingus has a page on its history here. The link at the end of that page has a detailed timeline showing when they acquired each type of plane.

Luas: History
Much shorter than the other links, but as new as it is, the Luas still has a history! 

Construction of the Jack Lynch Tunnel, Cork
The Jack Lynch tunnel in Cork was Ireland's first underwater road tunnel. It opened in 1999, the same year Jack Lynch died.

Irish Examiner: Titanic 100
A site launched by the Irish Examiner to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, which visited Cork harbour before its fateful maiden voyage in 1912. 

RTÉ TV50: The History of RTÉ
RTÉ are celebrating their 50th anniversary through a website explaining (with images and videos) its history from 1962 to 2012.  

The History of the Irish Times
The Irish Times gives a brief history of itself on its website. 

Irish Newspaper Archive
Using the actual archives requires a subscription, but this site still has a lot of information about the history of each newspaper it features, from the Irish Independent to local papers such as the Limerick Leader and the Westmeath Examiner. It tends to praise the papers, so beware of bias.


  1. People back then have limited options as far as communications is concerned. It is good to see the communication technology's progress.

    1. i agree with this comment

    2. I do too, though I was never sure why it was made.