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#lighthouse – The Commissioners of Irish Lights (CIL) have unveiled a new light emitting diode (LED) light at Ardnakinna lighthouse on Bere Island, Co. Cork on Wednesday 18th June 2014. This sectored light marks the western entrance to Castletownbere. The white sector of the light indicates the safe approach to Bere Island Sound and the approach to Castletownbere Harbour which is the largest whitefish port in Ireland.

Ardnakinna Lighthouse is located in an area of outstanding natural beauty on the Beara Peninsula and a favourite among those who visit, is the Ardnakinna Lighthouse Loop Walk. This project, while upgrading Ardnakinna Lighthouse, will also provide reliable and low maintenance operational needs for the next 20 years, achieving an annual reduction in operation costs of approximately 24% for CIL.

Mr Eoghan Lehane, Operations & Property Manager of CIL commented "the exhibition of this new light marks another stage in the modernisation of many of our stations as part of a multi-year Capital programme. While providing improved reliability for mariners, the use of modern low powered LED lights offers cost effective solutions that allow the removal of diesel generation equipment with consequent environmental benefits and maintenance savings".

The exhibition of this new light marks a significant milestone within CIL's major Capital Refurbishment Project currently being carried out at the lighthouse. The project includes replacing the mains-powered 1500W lamp with a new low power flashing LED light source in the existing lens. The light range will be reduced from 17n miles White, 14n miles Red to 14n miles White, 9n miles Red and exhibited in the hours of darkness only but will keep the same flashing character.

The Mains-fail Standby Diesel Generator will be removed and standby power will be provided by duplicated 24V batteries and chargers which will reduce maintenance requirements at the station as well as the need for fuel delivery. The installation of the LED light-source removes the need to change lamps and reduces power requirements to the station resulting in lower electricity costs.
The upgrading of Ardnakinna lighthouse demonstrates CIL's commitment to the economic and sustainable delivery of aids to navigation services around the coast of Ireland while keeping our mariners safe.

Published in Lighthouses

The Loop Head Lighthouse in West Clare will reopen to the public this Saturday (April 19th 2014), Clare County Council has announced.

The Local Authority, which manages the facility in conjunction with the Commissioners of Irish Lights (CIL), says the historic lighthouse will remain open daily (10am-6pm) until the end of September.

The popular tourist attraction, which is one of two "Signature Discovery Points" in County Clare along the route of the recently launched Wild Atlantic Way, attracted 19,000 visitors during the six-month opening period in 2013. The figure represents an increase of 2,000 on the same period in 2012.

According to Mayor of Clare Cllr. Joe Arkins: "Loop Head Lighthouse has proven to be one of the tourism success stories for County Clare in recent years and has helped to strengthen the profile, both nationally and internationally, of the wider Loop Head Peninsula and what it has to offer as a tourism destination."

"I want to pay tribute to Clare County Council for its ongoing work to develop the lighthouse, particularly through the provision of a new interpretative space and exhibition which has added greatly to the overall visitor experience. I warmly welcome any efforts made to help County Clare maintain and grow a competitive advantage in tourism terms," he added.

Siobhan Garvey, Marketing and Development Officer for West Clare stated: "The public opening of Loop Head Lighthouse will provide a significant boost to the local tourism sector and the economy, which has benefited greatly since the attraction was first opened to the public in 2012. The fact that the attraction is opening on a 7-days-a-week basis from this Easter Bank Holiday Weekend is particularly timely as the Lighthouse is one of two local Discovery Points along the Wild Atlantic Way."

Loop Head Lighthouse, located at the mouth of the Shannon Estuary, is steeped in history and rich in maritime heritage with its origins dating back to the 1670s. The existing tower style lighthouse was constructed in 1854 and was operated and maintained by a keeper who lived within the lighthouse compound. In January 1991, the lighthouse was converted to automatic operation, and today is in the care of an attendant and is also monitored by the CIL.

Admission to Loop Head Lighthouse, which includes the exhibition and guided tour of the site, is Adults (€5), Children (€2) and Family Passes for up to 2 adults + 3 children (€12). Visit www.loophead.ie or www.clare.ie for more information on Loop Head Lighthouse and the Loop Head Peninsula.

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#lighthouses – A London maritime institution with strong Irish connections stretching back over 500 years is opening its doors to the public to celebrate an important maritime birthday next month.  In 1514 a young King Henry VIII granted a Royal Charter to a fraternity of mariners called the Guild of the Holy Trinity "so that they might regulate the pilotage of ships in the King's streams" and the month of May marks the 500th anniversary of this milestone event in British maritime history. Included in the celebrations at Trinity House, home to the Corporation and the working office of the General Lighthouse Authority, is a unique Open Day Invitation to the general public to discover the treasures and artefacts preserved and on display within its five elegant rooms and access areas from 10am - 3pm on Saturday, 17th May. There is no need to contact the House - interested day-visitors can arrive and wander about the House at their leisure and receive information from expert guides stationed throughout.

Enthusiasts unable to make this date can schedule a visit from 10am - 3pm on Saturday 20th September (only) as part of the city-wide Open House London promotion created by Open-City (www.open-city.org.uk) and staged on the 20th and 21st of the month providing rare public access to 800 other exceptional buildings in London.

Trinity House is located on Tower Hill overlooking the historic Tower of London and the picturesque Trinity Square Gardens containing a memorial to merchant navy heroes of two World Wars and the Falklands War. It is available for private hire on an exclusive use basis and throughout the year is a popular venue for prestigious corporate and social occasions and is licensed for weddings and civil service ceremonies (please visit www.trinityhouse.co.uk/events for more details).

Built in 1794, the history of the House is omnipresent and throughout the building, valuable paintings and antiques bear out the nation's remarkable nautical heritage. One of its more recent acquisitions is the brass bell from the Royal Yacht Britannia which was decommissioned in 1997.

Trinity House's connection with seamarks and lighthouses dates from Elizabeth I and the Seamarks Act of 1566 which granted powers to set up "so many beacons, marks and signs for the sea whereby the dangers may be avoided and escaped and ships the better come into their ports without peril." The first lighthouse was built during the reign of James I by Trinity House at Lowestoft in 1609, and the next 200 years saw a proliferation of light house building around the coast.

In its 200 year history, the building of Trinity House has welcomed royalty, prime ministers and Lords of the Admiralty and is today managed by Deputy Master, Captain Ian McNaught. Reflecting the on-going patronage of the Crown, the current Master of the Corporation is HRH The Princess Royal, filling a role held in former centuries by, amongst others, the diarist Samuel Pepys, the Duke of Wellington, William Pitt the Younger and, more recently, The Duke of Edinburgh.

About Trinity House

Trinity House is the working office of the General Lighthouse Authority (GLA) for England and Wales with responsibility for nearly 600 Aids to Navigation from traditional aids such as lighthouses, buoys and beacons to the latest satellite navigation technology. In addition, it inspects over 10,000 local Aids to Navigation provided by port and harbour authorities and those positioned on offshore structures. The venue at Tower Hill pays a rent to the Corporation for its use which ensures, as in all other aspects of the two organisations' finances, that the accounts of the Corporation and the General Lighthouse Authority are entirely separate and without crossover.

Incorporated by Royal Charter in 1514, the Corporation is also a major maritime charity, wholly funded by its endowments. The Corporation spends around £4m each year on its charitable activities including welfare of mariners, education and training, and the promotion of safety at sea. It is also a Deep Sea Pilotage Authority. 

Published in Lighthouses

#lighthouses – As we face into a period of stormy weather over the Christmas period Commissioners of Irish Lights (CIL) stands ready to respond to any marine emergency in Irish Waters. CIL is responsible for the maintenance of physical and electronic Aids to Navigation around the Irish Coast and for ensuring safe navigation of passenger and cargo traffic in the event of wreck or other new dangers.

CIL has provided AtoN services in Ireland for over 200 years. The time of the lightkeeper has now passed as automation came to the fore in 1996 but guiding those at sea home safely during Christmas is essential in CIL's service to the mariner.

Irish and UK AtoN are monitored 24 hours a day via a sophisticated network of remote coastal communications links. This ensures that Ireland's coastal navigation network of 72 lighthouses, 29 beacons, and 118 buoys meets the international availability standard of 99.8%, giving all mariners a high degree of confidence and security for passage planning.

In the case of emergency in Irish waters, the Granuaile, CIL's 80 metre multifunctional ship with her highly experienced captain and crew of 15 will respond immediately. CIL's mechanical, electrical and electronic experts are on call 24 hours a day to cover any emergency. Lighthouse attendants around Ireland are also ready to deliver local response when required. A pilot and EC135 aircraft from Irish Helicopters is also on standby in case of emergency at offshore stations.

Modern technology now assists with the immediate response to any incident at sea. Virtual AtoNs can be digitally placed in areas of new danger through the Automatic Identification System (AIS) which all larger vessels are now required to use. As 95% of all goods arrive in Ireland by sea CIL's service and provision of maintaining AtoNs around the Irish Coast ensures the safety and efficiency of this vital service over the holiday period.CIL is a modern Maritime Safety Organisation whose mission is to 'provide aids to navigation and allied services for the safety of persons and infrastructure at sea, while also helping protect the marine environment and supporting the marine industry and coastal communities'. While CIL can date its establishment to a 1786 Act of Parliament, the organisation has always prided itself in its innovative and efficient service delivery. Today, the organisation remains committed to the efficient, effective sustainable delivery of services as it exploits new technology and new commercial opportunities.

CIL is based in Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin. CIL are responsible for providing marine aids to navigation (AtoN) under the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) convention.
• CIL provide and maintain over 300 general aids to navigation
• CIL manage 4,000 local aids to navigation
• CIL mark or remove dangerous wrecks outside harbour areas around Ireland
CIL AtoN include radio aids such as Differential GPS (DGPS), Radar Beacons (Racon), and Automatic Identification Systems (AIS), as well as traditional visual aids such as lighthouses, buoys and beacons. These AtoN complement Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), such as GPS, which are the primary means of navigation for most mariners. If satellites are not available, these AtoN provide position, spatial awareness, hazard marking and backup.
Please visit www.cil.ie for further information.

Published in Lighthouses

Clare County Council has completed two important tourism infrastructure projects in West Clare.

The projects at the Bridges of Ross and the West End Car Park in Kilkee cost €110,000 and €150,000 to complete respectively, and were both funded by Clare County Council and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

The Bridges of Ross, a well known tourist location on the Loop Head Peninsula, has benefited from an upgrade to the local carpark and the surfacing of approximately 450 metres of access way. The works were carried out by Council staff supported by Oliver Keating Contractors and are aimed specifically at boosting marine tourism in the local area, which is renowned for its coastal geological features and marine life as well as being one of Ireland's best birdwatching locations.

Meanwhile, Council staff have completed a €150,000 resurfacing project at the West End car park in Kilkee providing additional car parking capacity for the popular tourist town.

"I very much welcome the completion of these small but very important schemes at two of Clare's most popular tourist locations," stated Mayor of Clare Cllr Joe Arkins.

He continued: "Both the Bridges of Ross and Kilkee, together with Loop Head and Carrigaholt feature strongly on the Wild Atlantic Way which is to be launched during 2014 and I have no doubt that visitors coming to these locations will appreciate the improved facilities that are now in place. The investments made on both of these projects reflect the Council's commitment to tourism and to continually building the tourism product in the rural parts of County Clare.

Siobhan Garvey, Marketing and Tourism Officer for West Clare said the improvement works complement the raised profile of the Loop Head Peninsula as a quality, accessible and sustainable visitor destination.

"The Loop Head Peninsula has become a very popular destination, as exemplified earlier this year when it won The Irish Times Best Place to Holiday in Ireland Award. I particularly want to acknowledge the Council for working with local communities and indeed, Loop Head Tourism in developing, managing and showcasing the wonderful tourism assets on offer at the Peninsula from Loophead Lighthouse to the Bridges of Ross to Kilkee Bay. I am sure with the additional flights to Shannon airport that numbers visiting the area will increase during 2014 and in future years," added Ms. Garvey.

Commenting on the completed works, Ms. Garvey stated: "The Bridges of Ross is a well known tourist location being one of the most scenic stops on the Peninsula. Many tourists and locals make their way to this location and previously, the facilities in place fell short of the required standards. The works undertaken ensure that adequate car parking is available and ensure that anyone wishing to see the Bridges of Ross can do so in a safe manner. As the Bridges of Ross is one of the main locations on the Wild Atlantic Way, Clare County Council will be installing interpretation to reflect the overall branding of the new tourist route."

"Meanwhile, the Council also has completed a resurfacing project at the West End car park in Kilkee. The availability of sufficient car parking facilities at the required standard is essential in a tourist town such as Kilkee and the upgrade works now provide a well surfaced and lined car park for use by those visiting Kilkee," she concluded.

Published in Coastal Notes
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#lighthouse – A challenging lighthouse redevelopment project has been completed on one of the most testing sites on the Irish Atlantic coast. The Commissioners of Irish Lights (CIL) has completed a re-construction and modernisation project at Eagle Island Lighthouse in Co. Mayo – a landmark lighthouse safeguarding Ireland's north-westcoast. The new light is being commissioned today.

This demanding project on Eagle Island consisted of the replacement of the entire upper part of the lighthousestructure using a helicopter. This is one of the mostchallenging construction projects undertaken by CIL in recent years.

Captain Robert McCabe, Director of the Operations and Navigation Services with CIL stated "Eagle Island lighthouse stands 220 feet above the Atlantic ocean, yetover the years waves from winter storms have damaged buildings and equipment in the walled lighthouse compound. Eagle Island lighthouse must provide a reliable and effective aid to navigation in extreme conditions because it is, at these times, when marinersmost require CIL aids. The new light on Eagle Island will provide a high quality, highly reliable 18 mile LED light and, for the first time, an automatic identification system. The solar battery system will remove the requirement for diesel generation with consequent environmental benefits and maintenance savings."

The Commissioners of Irish Lights (CIL) is actively involved in consolidating its coastal infrastructure which is the latest chapter in technology change that CIL is currently implementing; first came automation, then solarisation and now consolidation. The overriding purpose of consolidation is to provide a low-maintenance, low-energy, and low-cost Aids to Navigation service around the Irish Coast.

Eagle Island's unique location saw the establishment oftwo lighthouses on the island, both completed in 1835.Because of its close proximity to the continental shelfEagle Island experiences unusually large waves and over the years the lanterns have regularly been damaged by waves and water-borne rocks.

Due to these ferocious conditions, a huge storm wall was constructed surrounding the lighthouses. This wall was destroyed by the sea, reinforced and eventually abandoned after a particularly large storm in 1894 when it was decided to abandon the lower lighthouse.

The lighthouse keepers were withdrawn with the automation of the current lighthouse in 1988.

After almost 200 years of guiding mariners to safety, the lantern room and domed roof of the lighthouse tower had reached the end of their working life. The old lighthouse dome, the lantern room, the large glass lens and the bath of mercury in which the lens rotated were all removed. They were replaced with a stainless steel structuredesigned by CIL to withstand the aggressive and relentless marine environment.

This structure was manufactured by Shortt Stainless Steel in Limerick which incorporates a new roof, a guarded access platform and light pedestals. The roof also supports new waterproof and weather resistant flashing LED (light emitting diode) lights.

A temporary works system was also designed to access the previous dome for demolition works. This platformincorporated the means to manhandle heavy equipmentand the helicopter deck on which to land the new dome.Constructing all of this on top of the lighthouse tower was extremely challenging.

Commenting on the success of this unique construction challenge, Captain Robert McCabe of CIL stated "The CIL team who delivered this complex project have demonstrated exceptional engineering, planning and construction skills and made a positive contribution to safety at sea and the marine environment."

Published in Lighthouses

#spitbank – The Spit as it is known locally is one of the most well known and distinguished marks in Cork Harbour and greets every vessel passing between Whitegate and Spike Island heading upwards past Cobh writes Claire Bateman.

On passing the Spit last Sunday it was noticed the structure was covered from top to bottom with scaffolding. Two ships in attendance, obviously support vessels, for the ongoing work. One was called 'The Spit Bank' and the other 'The Spike Island'. Obviously renovation work is taking place and no doubt we will see a newly painted and gleaming structure emerge when the work has been completed.

Located to the to the south of Cobh, the Spit is set at the end of a long mud bank marking a ninety degree turn in the shipping channel. Its peculiar form and design make it a striking addition to the maritime heritage, as it differs greatly from the more traditional stone-built lighthouses which are found along the south coast.

The man behind this curious structure, Alexander Mitchell (1780-1868) was quite extraordinary. Born in Dublin, his family moved to Belfast while he was still a child and he was educated at the Belfast Academy where he showed great mathematical aptitude. His eyesight failed during his teenage years and he was blind by the age of twenty- three. Amazingly his blindness did not prevent him from becoming a pioneering self-taught engineer.

Mitchell patented the "Mitchell Screw Pile and Mooring' in 1833, a cast iron support system which allowed for construction in deep water on mud and sand banks. Apparently inspired by the domestic corkscrew, its helical screw flange c ould be used for difficult shifting foundations on a broad range of structures and its potential was realized in a broad range of projects: lighthouses in Britain and Ireland as well as more than 150 lighthouses in North America; piers such as in Courtown, Co. Wexford and the impressive pier at Madras, bridges and viaducts on the Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway: and also for the telegraph network in India. Mitchell went on to apply the same technology to propellers and patented the screw propeller in 1854.

Lighthouses using this innovative system were built under Mitchell's supervision at Maplin Sands in the Thames Estuary in 1838; Wyre in Lancashire in 1840, Belfast Lough in 1853 and Dundalk in 1855. The foundations for the first lighthouse, Maplin Sands, were sunk in the incredibly short period of nine days. Before Mitchell's wonderful invention, floating lights had been used where a traditional lighthouse was not possible. Floating lights were not ideal as the movement of the light ship caused great variance in the light's location during storms, and floating lights could brake from their mooring, causing havoc for mariners.

An unlighted buoy had previously marked the commencement of the spit bank near Cobh, but Cork Harbour Commissioners required a more notable structure to take its place. Mitchell won the commission to construct the new lighthouse for £3,450, and moved with his family to Cobh (then Queenstown) in 1851, renting Belmont House overlooking the harbour. He immediately set about engaging workmen, testing the ground and examining the iron for the piles and wood for the house. His son and grandson laid the piles for the lighthouse, with regular inspections from Mitchell, while he oversaw the construction of a timber house on shore. During his fifteen months at Cobh, Mitchell took trips into Cork City during which he met with academic staff at the university and forged a friendship with the great mathematician, Boole. The light was exhibited for the first time two years later, while a foghorn was added in the 1890s. Set out to sea with no room for living accommodation, a principal and an assistant keeper lived in rented accommodation in Cobh.

Spit

The original drawings of Cork Harbour's Spit lighhouse. Image courtesy of Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht

Incredibly, accounts survive of Mitchell personally overseeing construction, taking trips out to his lighthouses in small boats, even on rough seas and on occasion falling overboard, going up and down ladders, crawling along planks and examining the wood, iron and rivets. At times he rallied the workers' spirits, leading them in sea shanties. Through touch he checked the quality of the iron work, sometimes noting flaws which had escaped the workers' and foreman's eye. One worker is recorded as exclaiming 'Our master may say what he pleases, but I'll never believe that he can's see as well as thee or I'. Mitchell was made an associate of the Institute of Civil Engineers in 1837, and was elected a member in 1848, at which time he received the Telford silver medal for the invention of the screw pile. He was awarded the Napoleon Medal from the Paris Exhibition in 1855.

The Spit Bank Light Lighthouse remains an iconic structure in Cork Harbour. Described by some as a giant spider in the sea, its curious form and design has attracted much comment and curiosity for the past 150 years. Thanks to the endeavours of this truly gifted inventor and dedicated Engineer, countless lives have been saved at sea.

Published in Lighthouses

#lighthouse – A global gathering of Lighthouse Keepers and enthusiasts will take place at the world's oldest lighthouse at Hook Head next weekend, September 13 to 15 and organiser's have today unveiled a fun filled programme of free events to keep families entertained.

Sunday, September 15 has been declared 'Sunday Fun Day' at the historic lighthouse, according to the manager Ann Waters everyone is invited to enjoy lots of entertainment. "Sunday is the day for free festival fun; we are looking forward to welcoming everyone to enjoy lots of fun entertainment, join in the singing of Sea Shanties with the Hooks and Crooks and enjoy the stiltwalkers and entertainers from Bui Bolg, the Claoimh Medieval Knights, games, face painting and lots more."

Sunday is the final day of the first gathering of Lighthouse keepers; festivities commence on Friday afternoon with a free open evening. Among those in attendance will be The Honourable Loyola Hearn, Canadian Ambassador to Ireland, Yvonne Shields, CEO of the Commissioners of Irish Lights and Larry O'Brien, Chair of Hook Heritage. Entertainment will be provided by the Wexford Male Voice Choir and soprano Emma Rochford.

On Saturday guests are invited to the Lighthouse Symposium 'If Lighthouses Could talk!' which will be hosted by former RTE News Anchor and Wexfordwoman Anne Doyle. Professor Kevin Whelan will offer an illustrated talk on Ireland in the Atlantic world focusing on mariners, merchants, migrants and light-keepers. Other speakers include guests from the Northern Lighthouse Board of Scotland and representatives from the Commissioners of Irish Lights and Newfoundland. The last principal Lighthouse Keeper and current Attendant at Hook Head Lighthouse, Tux Tweedy will attend, as well as several other former Lighthouse Keepers.

The weekend's highlight takes place on Saturday evening with drinks reception to be hosted in the historic cobbled yard at Hook Lighthouse with entertainment by Danescastle Traditional Irish Music Group and the Doyle Academy of Irish Dance. This will be followed by a Seafood Buffet and after-dinner entertainment provided by the Kennedy Sisters and traditional Irish music from Saolta. A fireworks display over the ancient landmark will bring this memorable evening to a spectacular close.

The global gathering of Lighthouse Keepers is being hosted in co-operation with the commissioners of Irish Lights and on behalf of past lighthouse keepers of Hook Lighthouse For further details see hookheritage.ie

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The Commissioners of Irish Lights (CIL) are celebrating the launch of the first ever all-Ireland lighthouse tourism trail with Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar and Arlene Foster MLA, Minister for the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investement.

The launch will be held at Blackhead, Co. Antrim next Wednesday.

CIL are developing the lighthouse trail to preserve and conserve the maritime heritage of Ireland and re-invigorate an appreciation for lighthouses. The developments will see visitor facilities at every lighthouse on the trail allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the history of the site through Learning Zones, tours and even overnight in themed accommodation.

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#loophead – A group of amateur ham radio operators from Limerick, Clare, Kerry and Tipperary successfully managed to make contact from Loop Head Lighthouse with 350 other radio clubs throughout the world at the weekend.

The Limerick Radio Club broadcast non-stop for 48 hours from the West Clare lighthouse as part of the 16th International Lighthouse /Lightship Weekend (ILLW).

During the broadcast, visitors to the lighthouse were able to listen into communications with some of the other participating ham radio operators broadcasting from other lighthouses and lightships in 63 countries.

The club said it successfully made contact with lighthouses/lightships as far away as Brazil, Australia, Tonga, French Guiana, Asiatic Russia, Ecuador, The Azores and the US. Virgin Islands. The majority of all radio contacts were made with operators in the United States (200), Germany (155) and Italy (76). 61% of overall communication was conducted via radio with the remaining 39% being conducted via Morse Code.

Simon Kenny of the Limerick Radio Club commented: "The weekend was hugely successful from the perspective of raising the profile of Loop Head Lighthouse amongst radio operators from all over the world. We are delighted with the huge number of successful contacts made and look forward to developing our newly established relationships with other radio clubs in the coming months."

He added: "The attempt to bridge the Atlantic on 144MHz was unsuccessful. However, we consolidated and forged new friendships with our twinned club in South Jersey. They also responded to our attempt to communicate with them, while using the moon as a reflector. The conditions were not favourable for such an attempt but we learned a lot. It's the first time that the Limerick Radio Club has made such attempts and hopefully the next time will be successful - from Loop Head."

Clare County Council, along and the Commissioners of Irish Lights (CIL), has facilitated the broadcast from Loop Head Lighthouse by the Limerick Radio Club. The Club has also received approval from the Communications Regulator.

Gerard Dollard, Director of Services, Clare County Council described the International Lighthouse /Lightship Weekend as a "wonderful way to connect and promote the shared maritime heritage of countries throughout the world".

"We are delighted to have been able to lend our support to this initiative. In 2012, the Limerick Radio Club helped to further raise the profile of Loop Head Lighthouse through its conversations over the airwaves with fellow ham radio operators internationally. We wish the members of Limerick Radio Club the very best of luck over the weekend," added Mr. Dollard.

Further information on the annual International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend (ILLW) is available from www.illw.net

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William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland and internationally for many years, with his work appearing in leading sailing publications on both sides of the Atlantic. He has been a regular sailing columnist for four decades with national newspapers in Dublin, and has had several sailing books published in Ireland, the UK, and the US. An active sailor, he has owned a number of boats ranging from a Mirror dinghy to a Contessa 35 cruiser-racer, and has been directly involved in building and campaigning two offshore racers. His cruising experience ranges from Iceland to Spain as well as the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, and he has raced three times in both the Fastnet and Round Ireland Races, in addition to sailing on two round Ireland records. A member for ten years of the Council of the Irish Yachting Association (now the Irish Sailing Association), he has been writing for, and at times editing, Ireland's national sailing magazine since its earliest version more than forty years ago

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