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Displaying items by tag: lighthouses

A lighthouse in Denmark that was first lit in 1900 has been moved further inland on special rails to protect it from coastal erosion.

TheJournal.ie reports on the 23-metre-tall Rubjerg Knude, which was deactivated in 1968 yet remains a popular landmark in the far north of Denmark.

However, the area is subject to shifting sands and coastal erosion that saw the lighthouse museum and coffee shop abandoned in 2002, and even led to the dismantling of 750-year old church close by in 2008.

Originally 200 metres from the shore, the lighthouse was just six metres from the edge when works began last week to move it some 70 metres inland on a set of specially built rails to accommodate its heavy masonry.

It’s now hoped that the future of the lighthouse, described by Danish environment minister Lea Wermelin as “a national treasure”, has been assured until 2060.

TheJournal.ie has more on the story HERE.

Published in Lighthouses

The new light on Fastnet Rock Lighthouse is scheduled to go into operation on schedule on the evening of Monday 2nd July, the Commissioners of Irish Lights has confirmed.

The new rotating lantern will have the same character as the existing light and a range of 18 nautical miles. The lighthouse will continue to provide an essential safety service for mariners as well as being visible along the Cork shoreline from Mizen Head to Castletownshend.

The switch to the new light will facilitate commencement of essential structural works which are required to renew the attachment of the lantern room to the masonry structure of the tower. Work will continue on Fastnet until late August 2018 and final completion works will take place in summer 2019. On completion, the outward appearance of Fastnet will be unchanged.

Irish Lights Director of Operations, Captain Robert McCabe, said: “The present works at Fastnet are part of the continuing investment programme of maintenance, upkeep and modernisation of the aids to navigation services provided by Irish Lights to the mariner. The project being undertaken at Fastnet involves important structural works to secure the station for the future, and the installation of a new light on a replacement platform above the dome. The works will improve safety and the environmental footprint at the station while having no impact on the outward appearance of the lighthouse.”

The public consultation process undertaken with the project has led to increased consideration of the international importance of Fastnet as a unique example of lighthouse heritage and the potential for the site to achieve UNESCO World Heritage List status.

Irish Lights responded to this interest and commissioned an independent expert report which concludes that the present works on Fastnet do not negatively impact on its potential for world heritage status. The report also found that the consideration of Fastnet for UNESCO status would best be progressed jointly with other countries operating similar towers.

Yvonne Shields Irish lights Irish Lights CEO, Yvonne Shields

Irish Lights CEO, Yvonne Shields, said: “Our discussions with the local community and interested parties raised the question of Fastnet qualifying for UNESCO World Heritage Status. In response, we commissioned a report from an international expert to explore the potential for Fastnet to be considered a world heritage site and to get a better understanding of the context within which this might be considered.

“The consultant confirmed the criteria under which he felt the Fastnet might qualify for UNESCO status and confirmed that the work underway at the site will not impact negatively on this ambition. The report notes that the World Heritage Committee specifically recognises the importance of continual renewal of internationally important industrial world heritage sites in the context of their sustained use as viable working entities. 

“Irish Lights will work with stakeholders and the community to determine the best way to advance the important heritage value of Fastnet as an international landmark.”

Published in Lighthouses
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The Great Lighthouses of Ireland Partnership, the all-island tourism initiative developed by the Commissioners of Irish Lights, has announced Insomnia Chairman, Entrepreneur and TV and radio personality Bobby Kerr as the new Independent Chairperson to support the project’s development. A keen yachtsman with a passion for all things maritime, Bobby will chair the body which features twelve lighthouses in breath-taking coastal locations from Donegal to Cork and from Antrim to Wexford.

In his first act as Chairperson, Bobby attended Seafest 2017 national maritime festival in Galway where he met with GLI Partners, lighthouse operators, and representatives from the Commissioner of Irish Lights.

Bobby takes up the pro-bono role at an exciting time for Great Lighthouses of Ireland, with the Partnership having recently agreed a new marketing and development strategy up to 2020 with the aim of driving up visitor numbers and growing revenue. The GLI Partnership will benefit from Bobby’s business expertise and understanding of community projects to help in building the profile of the lighthouse properties.

With tourists offered the chance to both visit and stay in a lighthouse, the twelve GLI sites combined attracted some 135,000 visitors in 2016. There are over 19,000 bednights available across the various lighthouses; GLI Partnership is forecasting a 9% growth in visitor numbers and over 60% visitor occupancy in bednights in 2017. Both funding and resources have been committed to position the 12 lighthouses as must see, unique and high quality experiences for domestic and international visitors.

Welcoming Bobby Kerr’s appointment, Chief Executive of Irish Lights, Yvonne Shields commented: “Our maritime heritage is a great source of pride. Through Great Lighthouses of Ireland, Irish Lights has brought together a group of people who are deeply rooted in our coastal communities and hugely committed to our lighthouse heritage, and we are delighted that Bobby Kerr will be working with us to support this leading-edge project.”

“Given the success of this initiative to date, Bobby’s background and experience will be of huge value in guiding and informing the future work plans and objectives of the partnership and we look forward to developing exciting new collaborative initiatives with our lighthouse partners over the next phase of development of the project.”

Speaking as he accepted the invitation to act as Chairperson, Bobby Kerr said: “I’m incredibly excited to be given this unique opportunity to contribute to such a high-profile and imaginative tourism offering as the Great Lighthouses of Ireland.

I am committed to ensuring that this partnership adds value to the national tourism development agenda, partners and coastal communities in a manner that is sustainable and one that we are all proud to be associated with.”

Great Lighthouses of Ireland
Great Lighthouses of Ireland is an all-island tourism initiative, developed by the Commissioners of Irish Lights, the General Lighthouse Authority for the island of Ireland. Featuring twelve lighthouses in breath-taking coastal locations, Great Lighthouses of Ireland offers visitors from home and abroad the chance to visit or stay in a lighthouse, to find out about their history, to appreciate the spectacular natural world around them, to discover the technology at work in lighthouses today and to meet the people who are passionate about these unique places.

Great Lighthouses of Ireland partners include the Irish Landmark Trust, the Royal Society for Protection of Birds, Forbairt Fhanada Teoranta (Fanad Community Group), Clare County Council, Ballycotton Lighthouse Tours, Mid & East Antrim Borough Council, Hook Heritage Limited, Valentia Island Development Company and Clare Island Lighthouse. Great Lighthouses of Ireland is also supported by Tourism Ireland, Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Northern Ireland.

Full list of Great Lighthouses of Ireland:

St John’s Point, Co Donegal
Fanad Head, Co Donegal
Rathlin West Light Seabird Centre, Co Antrim
Black Head, Co Antrim
St John’s Point, Co Down
Wicklow Head, Co Wicklow

Hook, Co Wexford
Ballycotton, Co Cork
Galley Head, Co Cork
Valentia Island, Co Kerry
Loop Head, Co Clare
Clare Island, Co Mayo

Published in Lighthouses

#lighthousePics - The guardians of some of Ireland's most iconic lighthouses, the Commissioners of Irish Lights are looking for new and exciting images of Lighthouses located along our stunning coastline.

Whether you are a professional photographer or just a budding enthusiast who likes to take snaps on your compact camera or smartphone, Irish Lights want you to share your best pictures with them.

From time to time Irish Lights may use these pictures in their publications for both internal corporate and external public viewing and if they do you can rest assured that all credit for your picture will go to you. This is a great way to get your work seen and to share in our passion and commitment to serving the mariner.

If you would like to share your photos with Irish Lights email any image to the dedicated email address [email protected]

Please make sure you include your name and a note to state that the picture is an original and was taken by you, and that you give permission for its use if we so choose.

For more about Irish Lights in general visit their website here.

Published in Lighthouses

#MewIslandOptic - Plans to install a rare lens from one of Ireland’s tallest lighthouses on Belfast’s waterfront have been given the green light.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, plans were announced last summer to house the optic from Mew Island Lighthouse in Belfast Lough in a much more accessible structure designed by architects Hall McKnight.

Now the News Letter reports that planning permission has been granted to install the 130-year-old, seven-metre-tall optic in the Titanic Quarter as the centrepiece of the new Titanic Walkway in the coming months.

“We are now one step closer to helping save and restore one of the largest optics of its kind ever constructed, an artefact of national and international significance,” said Titanic Foundation chief executive Kerrie Sweeney.

“This will certainly create a legacy Belfast landmark which will inspire our future generations.”

The News Letter has more on the story HERE.

Published in Lighthouses

#Exhibition - The Commissioners of Irish Lights and the Royal Irish Academy continues to tour an exhibition around our coastline that captures the history of Irish Lights.

Having first exhibited last year in Cobh as Afloat reported on the next venue will be Wexford at the town’s County Office HQ and is scheduled from 23 January-5 March. The location is at Carricklawn (close to Wexford General Hospital) on the (R769) road that leads west out of the town.

The history of the island of Ireland itself, its ever-changing coasts and shorelines, and the history of the people who lived along our island’s seaboard. Through the nineteenth century the number of Ireland’s lighthouses increased from fourteen to seventy-four, with eleven lightships placed around the east and south coasts.

The exhibition explores how Irish Lights, with its origins in the late-eighteenth century, and coming of age in the certainties of the nineteenth, faced the challenges of global and national uncertainty in the early twentieth century. Precisely, the exhibition details Irish Lights’ history between 1911 and 1923.

Also explored in the exhibition through these years are the incredible events, such as; the Easter Rising of 1916, the Anglo-Irish War of 1919–1921 and the Anglo-Irish Treaty.

What emerges is a never-before told story of devotion to duty, scientific, engineering and physical endeavour, world war, revolution and change.

It is also a deeply personal story of those who worked with and built up Irish Lights. Those who devoted their lives to protecting the coastline for the safety of all which remains to the present day and by keeping abreast of future technological developments.

Published in Lighthouses

#MinisterVisit - Minister for Transport, Shane Ross paid a visit to the Commissioners of Irish Lights headquarters in Dun Laoghaire Harbour recently.

Irish Lights operate an essential safety navigation service around the island of Ireland aimed at protecting people, property and the environment at sea. Afloat adds this involves the use of an aids to navigation tender, ILV Granuaile, the workhorse of CIL's marine operations which is based in Dun Laoghaire Harbour. The facility there includes the main depot for buoy repair and maintenance. 

Minister Ross heard about the range of new technologies that are enabling better navigation services for the mariner and the provision of new services such as environmental and ocean data for improved weather forecasting and planning of commercial activities at sea.

The service ensures that over 300 general aids to navigation (physical and electronic) operate reliably and to international standards around our coast 24/7 and 365 days of the year. Irish Lights also inspects and monitors over 4000 local aids around the coast.

Irish Lights also supports the Great Lighthouses of Ireland initiative which sees almost 200,000 tourists annually visiting working lighthouses. Accommodation is available in selected lighthouses on a year-round basis. 

Published in Lighthouses

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Published in News Update

#IrishLights - An Post has today (Thursday 6 October) a set of stamps to commemorate the Commissioners of Irish Lights.

There are four stamps in the collection designed by Vermillion Design, featuring Irish Lights staff working on a buoy; a helicopter at work near Fanad lighthouse in Donegal; the technology Irish Lights offers to sea users; and the ILV Granuaile, the service’s multifunctional vessel.

Each highlights a different aspect of the agency’s navigation and maritime services which go beyond the many lighthouses in its coastal network, including some 4,000 local navigation aids such a buoys and marks on dangerous wrecks outside harbour areas.

The stamp set is available from post offices nationwide or online from the Irish Stamps website.

Published in Lighthouses

#Exhibition - The Commissioners of Irish Lights have joined the Royal Irish Academy to bring an exhibition that captures the history of Irish Lights, the history of the island of Ireland itself, its ever-changing coasts and shorelines, and the history of the people who lived along our island’s seaboard.

What emerges is a never-before told story of devotion to duty, scientific, engineering and physical endeavour, world war, revolution and change. It is also a deeply personal story of those who worked with and built up Irish Lights and who devoted their lives to protecting the coastline for the safety of all.

Through the nineteenth century the number of Ireland’s lighthouses increased from fourteen to seventy-four, with eleven lightships placed around the east and south coasts.

The exhibition explores how Irish Lights, with its origins in the late-eighteenth century, and coming of age in the certainties of the nineteenth, faced the challenges of global and national uncertainty in the early twentieth century. Precisely, the exhibition details Irish Lights’ history between 1911 and 1923.

This exhibition explores these years, and incredible events, such as; the Easter Rising of 1916, the Anglo-Irish War of 1919–1921, and the Anglo-Irish Treaty.

The exhibition will be showcasing in venues all along the Irish coastline in 2016.

Currently the exhibition is been held at Cobh Library on Casement Square until Saturday 15th October

Opening Times:Tuesday to Saturday - 9.30am - 5.30pm

Closed on Mondays and Saturdays 

 

 

Published in Lighthouses
Page 1 of 7

Ferry & Car Ferry News The ferry industry on the Irish Sea, is just like any other sector of the shipping industry, in that it is made up of a myriad of ship operators, owners, managers, charterers all contributing to providing a network of routes carried out by a variety of ships designed for different albeit similar purposes.

All this ferry activity involves conventional ferry tonnage, 'ro-pax', where the vessel's primary design is to carry more freight capacity rather than passengers. This is in some cases though, is in complete variance to the fast ferry craft where they carry many more passengers and charging a premium.

In reporting the ferry scene, we examine the constantly changing trends of this sector, as rival ferry operators are competing in an intensive environment, battling out for market share following the fallout of the economic crisis. All this has consequences some immediately felt, while at times, the effects can be drawn out over time, leading to the expense of others, through reduced competition or takeover or even face complete removal from the marketplace, as witnessed in recent years.

Arising from these challenging times, there are of course winners and losers, as exemplified in the trend to run high-speed ferry craft only during the peak-season summer months and on shorter distance routes. In addition, where fastcraft had once dominated the ferry scene, during the heady days from the mid-90's onwards, they have been replaced by recent newcomers in the form of the 'fast ferry' and with increased levels of luxury, yet seeming to form as a cost-effective alternative.

Irish Sea Ferry Routes

Irrespective of the type of vessel deployed on Irish Sea routes (between 2-9 hours), it is the ferry companies that keep the wheels of industry moving as freight vehicles literally (roll-on and roll-off) ships coupled with motoring tourists and the humble 'foot' passenger transported 363 days a year.

As such the exclusive freight-only operators provide important trading routes between Ireland and the UK, where the freight haulage customer is 'king' to generating year-round revenue to the ferry operator. However, custom built tonnage entering service in recent years has exceeded the level of capacity of the Irish Sea in certain quarters of the freight market.

A prime example of the necessity for trade in which we consumers often expect daily, though arguably question how it reached our shores, is the delivery of just in time perishable products to fill our supermarket shelves.

A visual manifestation of this is the arrival every morning and evening into our main ports, where a combination of ferries, ro-pax vessels and fast-craft all descend at the same time. In essence this a marine version to our road-based rush hour traffic going in and out along the commuter belts.

Across the Celtic Sea, the ferry scene coverage is also about those overnight direct ferry routes from Ireland connecting the north-western French ports in Brittany and Normandy.

Due to the seasonality of these routes to Europe, the ferry scene may be in the majority running between February to November, however by no means does this lessen operator competition.

Noting there have been plans over the years to run a direct Irish –Iberian ferry service, which would open up existing and develop new freight markets. Should a direct service open, it would bring new opportunities also for holidaymakers, where Spain is the most visited country in the EU visited by Irish holidaymakers ... heading for the sun!

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