The Fastnet Rock and its lighthouse – the most southerly part of Ireland - make up one of the best-recognised maritime structures in the world writes W M Nixon. Symbol, icon, emblem, signpost of the ocean – you name it, the Fastnet is all of these things. And the slender, beautifully-engineered lighthouse itself is central to the rock’s significance.
Since 1904 – after several previous attempts at placing a light on the rock - the glow of its beam has been moving every night along the glorious coast of West Cork. It is a familiar and much-loved part of that unique region’s heritage. It is impossible to imagine the area without it. And not surprisingly, many people want it to stay totally as it is, an unchanging constant in a changing world, a part of their lives as it was part of their parents’ and grandparents’ world before them
Yet with technology always advancing, inevitably the power source for the Fastnet Rock was becoming long out-dated, and increasingly costly to run. At the Irish Lights base in Dun Laoghaire, a new LED bulb has been developed which will provide a light in a much more economical way.
Yet if the new system is introduced, while it will still be a very powerful light, it will be one third less powerful than the present antiquated system. Naturally it is causing concern in West Cork. The Irish Times has the story here