Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Galley Head Lighthouse is one of 70 lighthouses operated by the Commissioners of Irish Lights around the coast of Ireland and plays a vital role in maritime safety.
It is also one of twelve lighthouses which make up Great Lighthouses of Ireland, a new all-island tourism initiative. Visitors can stay in a lighthouse keepers cottages and appreciate the spectacular natural coastline of west Cork. http://www.greatlighthouses.com for details.

Thursday, 24 August 2017

This was one of the lighthouses that I wasn’t going to bother with. It’s unused and in a sorry state. As I started illustrating the lighthouses and told people about them, I realised that folks have an incredible fondness of their local lights and because these seagulls also have a very public fondness for Greenore, I’ve left it in.
Acording to Pete Goulding http://irishlighthouses.blogspot.ie - the lighthouse was built by George Halpin Senior in 1830. It stands a mere 36 feet high and was built to highlight the southern entrance of Carlingford Lough and also Greenore Port, which is actually the only privately owned port in the Republic. Greenore itself is pretty tiny with less than 1000 inhabitants.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Inishtearacht Lighthouse, Blasket Islands, County Kerry

Inishtearaght (the Western Island) is one of the Blasket Islands, the most westerly land in Europe apart from the nearby Foze Rocks and of course Iceland. The island is inhospitable - two steep pinnacles rising to 349 feet and 656 feet, joined by a saddle and a more rounded peak of 597 feet. The lighthouse took six years to build and was finally opened for business in 1870. 

Friday, 28 July 2017

Mutton Island Lighthouse in County Galway

The Galway Civic trust are undertaking the restoration of Mutton Island Lighthouse and Keepers Cottage. A castle on the island was demolished to facilitate the lighthouse when it was built in 1815. The Scanlan Family manned the lighthouse in the 1940s and 50s and much of the information we have on the lighthouse is due to them. The Galway Fleming family were contracted to provide relief to Mutton Island in their púcan boat. A series of flags illustrated the requirements of the island to the mainland. The Island was largely self-sufficient however. The last keepers left the island in 1958 when the light became automated. The light was then turned off in December 1977 after 160 years of service.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Kilcredaun Lighthouse, County Clare

The short squat-looking lighthouse at Kilcredaun was built in 1827 . The light was converted to acetylene gas in 1929, allowing for it to go for periods unmonitored and was then converted to electricity. It became fully automatic in 1991, with an attendant living on site. The light was monitored via a wireless link to the CIL offices in Dublin.
The light was turned off and permanently discontinued in March 2011 after operating for over 187 years, although all of the obsolete equipment has been left in place. A stroll around the grounds of the Lighthouse allows for beautiful views of the Kerry Coastline and mountains and the iconic Rehy hill.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Oyster Island Lighthouse, Rosses Point, county Sligo

Two lights were established on Oyster island in 1837 but the one you see now dates from 1893. It became a rear leading light with the metal man in 1932 and was eventually converted from acetylene to propane in 1979 and then to solar in 2003. 
In 2007 at the height of the boom, the island (in part) came up for sale at a whopping 750k. The Island was famous for its oyster fishery, with beds covering an area of seventy acres. The Island was at the centre of a major story in 1864 when the beds were raided by eight boatloads of men and twenty-five thousand oysters were taken.
In 1841, the population of Oyster Island was 28, mostly lighthouse employees and their families, but this figure had dropped to 19 in 1861. The population gradually decreased and on Census Day, 1986, the Island had one solitary inhabitant.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

The Tower of Lloyd, Kells county Meath.

“I’m looking at the river, but I’m thinking of the sea.”
A little digression today; 
Randy Newsman’s words could have been written for the tower of Lloyd. A lighthouse that finds itself stranded twenty miles from the ocean. 
Built in 1791, the Kells lighthouse as it’s locally known was never meant to steer ships home, but instead was used to view horse racing and the hunt and was erected by the 2nd Earl of Bective in memory of his father. What should be a major tourist attraction just outside the hometown of the book of Kells is unfortunately used as a transmission tower and closed to the public.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Rathlin Easy Lighthouse, Rathlin Island, County Antrim

Rathlin East lighthouse is the location from which the world’s first commercial wireless telegraphy link was established by employees of Guglielmo Marconi, transmitting to Kenmara House in Ballycastle on 6 July 1898.
Rathlin is the only inhabited offshore island of Northern Ireland, with a population of approximately 150 people, down from over a thousand in the late 19th century and is the most northerly inhabited island off the coast of Ireland. There are three lighthouses on the island; East, West and Rue on the south coast.  The eastern light was established in 1856. Originally the tower was unpainted. Then it was coloured overall white with a red band below the balcony. In 1934 for reasons I know not why, this was changed to black. In 1981 it was converted to electric and in 1995 it was automated and the keepers withdrawn from the station.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Straw Island Lighthouse, Inis Mór, Aran Islands, County Galway

Straw Island is a small sandy island that lies at the approaches to the harbour of Cill Rónáin on Inishmore, the largest of the Aran Islands. The lighthouse on Straw Island is a small but highly important Aid to Navigation. The Aran Islands see a quarter of a million visitors annually travelling to their shores.
The light was the result of a long correspondence battle of over twenty years to have a local light built to replace the discontinued light near Oghil on Inishmore.
Inishmore was established in 1818 but unfortunately it was positioned too high, over 400 feet (122m) above sea level, and more often than not was shrouded in cloud or mist. Also it did not cover the North and South entrances to Galway Bay. Inishmore was replaced in 1857 by lights on Eeragh and Inisheer.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Rockabill Lighthouse, Skerries, County Dublin

In 1837 the Drogheda Harbour Commissioners proposed that a lighthouse be built on Rockabill off Skerries, and they stated that the shipping which frequented Drogheda would cheerfully pay a toll towards a light on Rockabill. 
The lighthouse tower was built 1855–1860 of granite from the Mourne Mountains in County Down and local limestone from Milverton. The name comes from the Irish name for the rock - Carraig Dá Bheola, meaning "Two Lips Rock".
The lighthouse was converted to automatic operation on 1 April 1989. The Lightkeepers were withdrawn and the station was put in the care of a part-time Attendant.
Skerries Sea Tours runs a passenger trip daily to the Lighthouse during the summer months: http://www.skerriesseatours.ie
This is one of just over sixty coastal lighthouses and many more harbour and estuary lights I've illustrated. I'll be posting them up each day. 

Friday, 5 May 2017

Inishtrahull Lighthouse, County Donegal

Inishtrahull, about six miles north of Malin Head, is the most northerly of Ireland's lighthouses and together with Tory Island they form the two main landfall lights for shipping from the Atlantic rounding the north coast of Ireland, alongside navigation to local shipping. 

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Inishgort Lighthouse, Clew Bay, County Mayo

The lighthouse tower was originally built in 1806. The island was one of the last places in Ireland to be connected to the electric grid. Nearby is Dorinish, the island that John Lennon purchased in the late 60’s
The light was converted to solar power in July 2000.