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A Surefire Cure for Seasickness and Other Tips from Former Lightkeeper Gerald Butler, Now Hosting Visitors to Galley Head For The Irish Landmark Trust

30th April 2024
Galley Head Lightkeeper Gerald Butler with Yvonne Shields Chief Executive of Commissioner of Irish Lights with Cillian Phelan (8 yrs) Sarah Phelan (6 yrs) and Sophie Costello (8 yrs)
Galley Head lightkeeper Gerald Butler with CIL chief executive Yvonne Shields and a group of children visiting Galley Head Lighthouse Credit: Leon Farrell

Look for a surefire cure for seasickness, and no better person to ask than someone who worked on a lightship off the Irish coast.

Lightship duty was both tough and boring, highly dangerous during wartime, and particularly hard on the stomach, as Gerald Butler of West Cork’s Galley Head lighthouse remembers.

His father and grandfather did that arduous duty on rolling stationary decks during their time with the Commissioners of Irish Lights, and his father told him how to get your sea legs.

That and other memories were recalled by Butler during a recent visit by Wavelengths to Galley Head light where he hosts visitors to its two cottages – once his family home – which have been beautifully restored by the Irish Landmark Trust.

Overnight stays in lighthouse cottages around the Irish coast have shot up by 60 per cent since 2019, and lighthouse tourism attracted 622,000 people last year, according to recently published figures by the Great Lighthouses of Ireland partnership.

More details on the Irish Landmark Trust lighthouse stays – where there is no Wifi and no television in keeping with the way keepers lived – can be found here Team

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Weekly dispatches from the Irish coast with journalist Lorna Siggins, talking to people in the maritime sphere. Topics range from marine science and research to renewable energy, fishing, aquaculture, archaeology, history, music and more...