Making the Right Connections tells the story of Ballyheane man who became an early telecoms pioneer

Mayo author Michael Larkin is looking forward to launching his new book Making the Right Connections which depicts the story of his granduncle Thomas Larkin and his journey as an early telephone pioneer in America. The book will be launched on Monday, April 29, at 7pm in Mayo County Library in Castlebar.

Making the Right Connections, written and compiled by Michael Larkin, vividly describes significant milestones in the evolution of telecommunications, predictions made regarding Alexander G Bell's new invention, Irish emigration, transatlantic connectivity, and an outline of the journey undertaken by Thomas Larkin, one of the early telephone pioneers of America.

Following the invention of the telephone by Bell in 1876, most of the American people, including President Rutherford B Hayes remained sceptical as to the merits of Bell's new speaking telegraph.

Making the Right Connections has received endorsements from a number of respected Irish and Irish American academics, including author, historian, and 2019 Meitheal Mhuigheo recipient Terry Reilly, who stated: "Here is a terrific story about a young man from a rural village in County Mayo, who, like so many of his friends, emigrated to the USA, simply to find employment. As a distinguished member of the Bell Telephone Company in Pennsylvania, he made a significant contribution to the telephone industry in the early 1900s."

Thomas Larkin, the central character in the book, was a granduncle of the author Michael Larkin. He was born in the townland of Derrew, Ballyheane, on July 4, 1874. Similar to thousands of other young Irishmen and women, he made that perilous voyage across the Atlantic Ocean in the hope of securing a better future in the New World.

His American dream became a reality when he secured employment with the Bell Telephone Company in Pennsylvania. Having had a distinguished career as one of the early telephone pioneers of America, he received many accolades for his role in the delivery of the telephone network into the American mid-west.

Speaking in advance of the launch, Michael Larkin said: “It's very fitting that Making the Right Connections will be launched in advance of Mayo Day, a spectacular occasion dedicated to celebrating our culture, heritage, and connectedness with our diaspora throughout the world.”

Award winning Midwest Radio presenter Tommy Marren will officially launch this eagerly anticipated book on Monday, April 29 at 7pm. All are welcome. Book signings and sales will take place from 6pm.


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