Captain Robert Halpin

Born in Wicklow on the 17th February 1836, son of James Halpin, innkeeper of Wicklow Bridge House. (Now known as Bridge Tavern)  He was the youngest of 13 children and first went to sea in 1847 at the age of 11.

In June 1865 he was appointed Chief Officer of the Great Eastern. A behemoth of 22,000 tons and 680 ft long. This amazing ship had proved to be a financial disaster as a passenger carrier, but had been chartered to lay a telegraph cable across the Atlantic. With Halpin as navigator, the Great Eastern started across the Atlantic on 22nd June. On August 1st they had gone 1,660 miles when they lost the cable in 2,000 feet of water. In 1866, the same team successfully laid another cable between June 30th and July 26th. To add to his fame, Halpin then navigated the ship to the exact place where they had lost the old cable the previous year, it was successfully recovered, spliced and completed, to provide two lines of communication between America and Europe via Ireland.

The museum holds a whole range of artefacts in relation to Captain Halpin.