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Golden Birthday for Dublin Bay Sentinel: Kish Lighthouse

9th November 2015
yvonne_shields
Pictured at the celebration of 50 years of service for the Kish Lighthouse on the 9th November 2015, were (l-r), Tommy Murphy, former Keeper on the Kish Lighthouse; Yvonne Shields, CEO Irish Lights and President Michael D. Higgins with a commemorative sketch of the Kish Lighthouse. Picture: Brendan Lyon

#[email protected] The Commissioners of Irish Lights today welcomed the visit of President Michael D Higgins and Mrs. Sabina Higgins to join the Board and staff to say 'Happy Birthday' as the Kish Lighthouse celebrates 50 years of service on the 9th November 2015.

Imagine what that means.

How many millions of passengers have watched the Kish fade over the horizon as they emigrated to Britain and beyond? How many have watched its welcoming flash guide them safely back home to Ireland?

95% of everything we use arrives and leaves by sea. Imagine the cargoes made safe by the Kish Light. The agricultural products, the machinery, the building materials, the household goods, the cars, the clothes; every single staple of our lives has passed the great guiding lighthouse on the Kish.

As a witness to social history the Kish has seen significant change. Containerisation has changed the ships and crews, air travel has changed the passenger numbers, fuel costs have allowed it witness the growth and subsequent decline of fast vessels such as Jetfoil and HSS. (See, Afloat's latest report on the former Stena Explorer currently heading for Turkey).

Consider the lives of the Lighthouse Keepers who lived on the tower until automation in 1992.

The Kish Lighthouse is not just a seamark but a very significant engineering landmark of its day. The lighthouse replaced a lightship which was one of a series of such vessels that marked the Kish Bank since 1811 – meaning that there has been a continuous light on the Kish for the 204 years.

Published in Lighthouses
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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Irish Lighthouses

Irish Lights is a maritime organisation delivering essential 24/7 safety and navigation services around the coast of Ireland 365 days. Its focus is reliable and cost-effective services which protect people, property and the marine environment, and support marine industry and coastal communities.

Irish Lights is responsible for providing marine aids to navigation under the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) convention. This remit includes: providing and maintaining over 300 general aids to navigation, managing about 4,000 local aids to navigation and marking or removing dangerous wrecks outside harbour areas around Ireland. Irish Lights also provides contract commercial services for ship charter, buoy and marine data services and supports tourism and heritage activities.

Emergency Response: If you notice any aid to navigation is not functioning correctly please contact our 24-hour emergency number 01 280 1996

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