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John Philip Holland, Tuesday 22nd November, TG4 at 9.30pm



Date Posted: November 21, 2016

A new Irish Language Broadcast Fund documentary, John Philip Holland: aireagóir an fhomhuireáin nua-aoisigh, examines the life of John Philip Holland, the Clare born inventor of the modern submarine. The one-off documentary will air on TG4 on Tuesday 22nd November at 9.30pm.

Directed by Macdara Vallely (Peacefire, Babygirl), the film highlights Holland’s modest upbringing in Liscannor, County Clare, and his early experience as a Christian Brother teacher. It was while teaching in Cork in the 1860s that Holland first drew up plans for a vessel that could travel underwater – several years before the publication of Jules Verne’s science fiction novel ‘Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea’.

When Holland moved to the US in the 1870s, he was introduced to the Fenian movement, and with their financial support, he built and tested his first submarine on the Passaic River in New Jersey in 1878. This was followed by a second prototype, the so called ‘Fenian Ram’ that represented a huge breakthrough in the history of the submarine. Both vessels survive to this day, and are housed in the Paterson Museum in New Jersey.

When the Fenians fell out over the cost of the Fenian Ram, the vessel was seized from Holland, and their financial backing came to an end.

Holland entered a competition to design a submarine for the US Navy in the late 1880s, which he duly won, but it took until the late 1890s before his design was finally accepted. Even then the US Navy interfered with his design, and insisted on changes that compromised the safety of the submarine. It’s a sign of Holland’s tenacity and confidence in his work that he secured the finance to build another submarine to his own design, and it is this vessel, the Holland VI, that is now recognised as the first fully functioning modern submarine. Holland subsequently designed the first US, British, Russian, Japanese and Dutch submarine fleets.

At the height of his success Holland’s patents were signed over to his business partners, and Holland was gradually forced out. He resigned in 1904 due to concerns over safety issues, and was prevented from building submarines again by his former colleagues.

Holland died in August 1914, a few weeks before submarines were first used to deadly effect in WWI His legacy is better known abroad than in Ireland, and it is the US Navy that gave him the title of ‘The Father of the Modern Submarine’.

A Dearcán Media production for TG4 with Irish Language Broadcast Fund support.

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John Philip Holland: Aireagóir an fhomhuireáin nua-aoisigh

I gclár nua de chuid an Chiste Craoltóireachta Gaeilge do TG4, tabharfaidh John Philip Holland: aireagóir an fhomhuireáin nua-aoisigh léargas ar shaol John Philip Holland, as Contae an Chláir, a chéadcheap fomhuireán na haimsire seo. Craolfar an clár aonarach seo ar TG4 ar an Mháirt 22 Samhain, 9.30i.n.

Is é Macdara Vallely (Peacefire, Babygirl) an stiúrthóir agus cuirtear béim ann ar thógáil mhodhúil Holland i Lios Ceannúir, Contae an Chláir, sa scannán agus ar luath-thaithí s’aige mar mhúinteoir leis na Bráithre Críostaí. Is ansin agus é ina mhúinteoir i gCorcaigh sna 1860idí, a dhear Holland a phleananna fomhuireáin den chéad uair – roinnt blianta sular foilsíodh leabhar ficsean eolaíochta le Jules Verne, ‘Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.’

Nuair a bhog Holland go SAM sna 1870idí, chuir sé eolas ar na Fíníní agus le

tacaíocht airgid s’acu, thóg sé agus thriail sé a chéad fhomhuireán ar an Passaic River in New Jersey sa bhliain 1878. Tháinig an dara fomhuireán, ‘The Fenian Ram’ mar a thugtar air, tamall ina dhiaidh sin agus b’fhionnachtain mhór é i stair an fhomhuireáin. Tá an dá fhomhuireán le feiceáil inniu in Iarsmalann Paterson in New Jersey.

Baineadh an fomhuireán de Holland nuair a thit na Fíníní amach lena chéile mar gheall ar chostas an Fenian Ram, agus cuireadh deireadh leis an tacaíocht airgid ansin.

Chuir Holland isteach ar chomórtas ina raibh air fomhuireán a dhearadh do Chabhlach SAM ag deireadh na 1880idí. Bhuaigh sé an comórtas ach níor glacadh lena dhearadh go deireadh na 1890idí agus fiú ansin chuir Cabhlach SAM isteach ar a dhearadh. D’éiligh siad ar athruithe a chur sábháilteacht an fhomhuireáin i mbaol.

Bhí muinín ag Holland ina chuid oibre agus d’éirigh leis an t-airgead a fháil le fomhuireán dá chuid féin a thógáil. Is é an fomhuireán sin, an Holland VI, a aithnítear mar an chéad fhomhuireán nua-aoiseach anois. Dhear Holland fomhuireáin de chuid Chabhlach na Breataine, na Rúise, na hÍsiltíre, na Seapáine agus cabhlach SAM ina diaidh sin.

Nuair a bhí Holland in ard a réime, thug sé uaidh a phaitinní dá comhpháirtithe gnó i scríbhinn agus rinneadh neamhaird de Holland de réir a chéile. D’éirigh sé as a phost sa bhliain 1904 mar go raibh sé buartha faoi cheisteanna sábháilteachta agus níor ligeadh dó fomhuireán ar bith eile a thógáil mar gheall ar a iar-chomhghleacaithe.

Fuair Holland bás i mí Lúnasa 1914, cúpla seachtain sular baineadh úsáid as na fomhuireáin mar uirlis chogaidh den chéad uair i rith an Chéad Chogadh Domhanda. Is mó an clú atá air thar lear ná in Éirinn, agus is é Cabhlach Stát Aontaithe Mheiriceá a thug an teideal ‘Athair an Fhomhuireáin Chomhaimseartha’ air.

Is léiriúchán de chuid Dearcán Media é do TG4 agus a fuair maoiniú ón Chiste Craoltóireachta Gaeilge.

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