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Displaying items by tag: Irish Lights

Are you up for the challenge of managing the network of lighthouses around the coast of Ireland? If so, the Commissioners of Irish Lights want to hear from you.

The agency is now recruiting for the role of Coastal Operations and Property Manager, who will be responsible for making sure Ireland’s 65 lighthouses — plus 141 buoys and 22 beacons — are safe to access and use, and maintained and powered sustainably into the future.

Some of Ireland’s lighthouse stations are over 200 years old, and are found in exceptionally beautiful and challenging locations.

But with new communication and navigation equipment as well as powerful LED lights, they continue to provide a vital service to mariners and increasingly also to local tourism, heritage and environmental protection programmes.

As Coastal Operations and Property Manager, the successful candidate will lead and develop a strategic approach to Irish Lights property and aids to navigation (AtoN) asset management.

Among their many responsibilities, they will manage a team of over 20 employees, including managers, team leads, technicians and general workers; obtain relevant planning and environmental consents for capital and maintenance works; fostering strong stakeholder relationships; and oversee capital projects’ timelines and budgets.

The successful candidate will have at least 10 years’ relevant engineering experience, with at least seven in a team and organisational leadership role.

Previous experience working in a marine environment or with coastal assets, ideally in a civil engineering capacity, is also expected, as are strong people management skills, with the ability to foster collaboration and a cohesive team environment.

Irish Lights offers the opportunity to manage a dynamic and vital operation, as well as leading the coastal operations team into the future. The role also comes with a strong remuneration package as well as a highly competitive pension scheme.

A full candidate briefing pack is available on the Irish Light website. To learn more about this job, email [email protected] or call Jasper Wiley on +353 1 474 4623 and see the job spec page on the Sigmar Recruitment website.

The closing date for applications is 5pm on Friday 14 January 2022.

Published in Jobs
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Irish Lights is currently recruiting a Navigation Advisory Services Officer on a specified purpose contract for a minimum duration of 8 months. This is an exciting opportunity for an experienced mariner with sea-going and/or shore-based experience. The role will report to the Navigation Services Manager and will work closely with the Local Aids to Navigation Lead and other members of the eNavigation and Maritime Services Team.

This specified purpose contract would be an ideal opportunity to allow the successful candidate gain an insight into the operation of a modern General Lighthouse Authority, tasked with the provision, superintendence and management of aids to navigation for the safety of all sectors and maritime users. The successful candidate will develop their existing experience in stakeholder management, customer support, navigation risk assessments and commercial contracts and have the opportunity to build upon their professional network in wider industries.

The Navigation Advisory Services Officer will assist Irish Lights to meet the requirements of our strategy "Safe Seas – Connected Coasts". The role will focus on the superintendence and management of the 3,600 Local Aids to Navigation (AtoN) and 56 Local Lighthouse Authorities around the Island of Ireland. This typically involves being on the coast inspecting for one week, with the following week spent completing the reports and statutory office-based work. While on the coast, the role is also asked to identify possible commercial and value-added opportunities for Irish Lights.

The ideal candidate will have excellent people skills and an ability to establish and build relationships across multiple agencies and community organisations. They will also have regulatory and business development skillsets and a proven business sales ability and growth mindset.

Applicants must be Officer of the Watch (Deck) STCW 95 or fishing or naval equivalent qualified. A degree-level qualification in a relevant field is desirable.

Please visit our website to view the Candidate Briefing Pack for further information on the role and the requirements -

The closing date for applications is Friday, 12 November 2021. Please apply by sending a CV and cover letter to Gemma Gregan at [email protected] Please view Irish Lights Job Applicant Privacy Notice on the Vacancies page.

Published in Jobs
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Irish Lights is currently recruiting for a Navigation Advisory Services Officer on a specified purpose contract for a minimum duration of eight months.

It’s described as “an exciting opportunity for an experienced mariner with commercial sea-going and/or shore-based experience”.

The successful candidate will assist Irish Lights to meet some of the additional requirements identified in its strategy Safe Seas – Connected Coasts.

The role requires a mix of regulatory and business development skillsets. Previous experience in defining and developing new services for commercial clients would be an advantage.

This varied, shore-based role will involve a mix of office-based work in Dun Laoghaire and a significant amount of time on the coast.

Applicants must be Officer of the Watch (Deck) STCW 95 or fishing- or naval-equivalent qualified. A degree level qualification in a relevant field is desirable.

For more on the role, including a link to the Candidate Briefing Pack, see the Irish Lights website HERE. (The job applicant privacy notice can be found HERE.)

The closing date for applications is Friday 12 November. Please apply by sending a CV and cover letter to Gemma Gregan at [email protected]

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The latest Marine Notice from the Department of Transport gives advance notice of the discontinuation of the Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS) service around the coast of the island of Ireland from 31 March 2022.

DGPS has been provided as an augmentation service of the GPS signal by the General Lighthouse Authorities in Ireland and the UK since 1997.

The Commissioners of Irish Lights, in consultation with the Department of Transport, have resolved that the DGPS service has now become redundant and has decided to discontinue the service in waters around the coast of the island of Ireland after 31 March 2022.

Further information and guidance for maritime users is available on the Irish Lights website. This explains the background, consultation with the wider DGPS user group and guidance for maintaining the safety of navigation after the DGPS service ceases next spring.

Published in News Update

IALA hosts the World Marine Aids to Navigation Day (WATON) which for this year will also be celebrated virtually, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) is a non-profit, international technical association established in 1957.

Among the role of IALA is to gather together Marine Aids to Navigation authorities, manufacturers, consultants, and, scientific and training institutes from all parts of the world and offers them the opportunity to exchange and compare their experiences and achievements.

In Ireland the event is recognised by the Commissioners of Irish Lights based in Dun Laoghaire Harbour where also today at their headquarters, the Taoiseach launched the National Marine Planning Framework and Maritime Area Planning Bill.  

Irish Lights is responsible for waters north and south and is among three General Lighthouse Authorities (GLA's) also involved in Aids to Navigation (AtoN) around the coast of Britain.

The other GLA's in which Irish Lights works in close co-operation and mutual support is Trinity House (England & Wales) and the Northern Lighthouse Board (Scotland and Isle of Man). 

Everyone is invited to take part this WATON by sharing photos of AtoN's on Social Media so to raise awareness world-wide.

Published in Lighthouses

Irish Lights carry out a constant maintenance and monitoring service for its buoy fleet around the coast from its headquarters at Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

Buoys are prepared to the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) standards in its state-of-the-art buoy service facility.

The ILV Granuaile ship is used for maintenance/replacement programmes and as our photo above shows the eight-metre Irish Lights timber workboat is capable of towing big buoys too!

Irish Lights, which have been based at Dun Laoghaire Harbour since the late 1800s, is a maritime organisation delivering an essential safety service around the coast of Ireland, protecting the marine environment, and supporting the marine industry and coastal communities.  In recent years Irish Lights has transformed how it delivers its services, exploiting new technology and new opportunities.

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The Commissioners of Irish Lights has, in the Notice to Mariners 05/2020, given notice that on 30th October or as soon as circumstances permitted, the existing Skulmartin Buoy off the north County Down coast, is to be repositioned.

The existing position is Lat 54deg 31.848' N - Long 005deg 24.910' W and the new position is Lat 54° 32.393'N Long 005° 24.910'W.

The dangerous Skulmartin Rocks off the village of Ballywalter were marked by a 'bell boat' in the late 1870s which was replaced by the manned Skulmartin Light vessel in 1886.

The manned Skulmartin Light vessel of 1886The manned Skulmartin Light vessel of 1886

This, in turn, was replaced by a lit whistle buoy in June 1967 and on 6th December 2004, the wave activated whistle fog signal was permanently discontinued.

Published in Lighthouses

A vacancy at sea is sought from the Commissioners of Irish Lights for the position of an Operations Officer on board their aids to navigation management and maintenance tender ILV Granuaile.

The role in Irish Lights will be both challenging and rewarding role based on the multi-purpose and dynamic positioning system (DP) Class 1 vessel ILV Granuaile.

Afloat adds the Irish flagged ILV Granuaile built in 2000 has along its 80m length an aft work deck and associated 20-tonne crane in addition at the fo'c'sle a heli-deck. The 2,625 gross tonnage ship's homeport is Dun Laoghaire Harbour and location of CIL's head office and adjoining marine depot facility.

For much more details on the ship, the role of the vacancy and requirement to apply, click here and the Candidate Briefing Pack (download) for further information.

Closing date for applications is Friday, 30 October 2020.

Applicants should apply by emailing a CV and cover letter to Susan Murdock at [email protected]

Note in addition CIL currently includes a Vacancy for Data Analyst - eNavigation and Maritime Services, for more click here.

Published in Jobs

All three General Lighthouse Authorities (GLA) of the UK and Ireland - Trinity House, the Northern Lighthouse Board and Irish Lights - will discontinue their Differential GPS (DGPS) service in March 2022.

The GLAs made this decision after carefully considering the results from an extensive consultation carried out with stakeholders and service users. They will cease transmission of the signal after 31 March 2022.

It was in 1995 that the GLAs introduced DGPS as part of the mix of marine aids to navigation (AtoN) provided to safeguard mariners within their combined waters and to help protect the environment. The system became fully operational in 1997. The system consists of 14 DGPS reference stations, six far-field monitoring sites and three monitoring and control sites. The system is operated as a single AtoN, operated and maintained by the three GLAs.

Dr Alan Grant, GLA DGPS System Director, said: “After careful consideration of the results of the consultation process, the three GLAs have concluded that their DGPS system is now redundant. Today’s GNSS are able to meet all but the most stringent accuracy requirements, and position integrity can be provided by alternative means (RAIM or other visual and electronic aids to navigation).

“The GLAs recognise the need to provide adequate notice and support continuity of service going forward. As such, the DGPS system will remain operational until 31 March 2022, at which point the signals will cease.”


Marine radiobeacon DGPS was developed by the GLAs to counter Selective Availability (SA), a deliberate error added to the civilian GPS service to degrade its positional accuracy. The DGPS correction to the position error meant an improvement in accuracy from approximately 50m to around 5m.

In addition to improving the estimated position accuracy, by assessing whether the error is within a given threshold, the reference station is able to monitor the performance of the GPS constellation and identify any faults. Faulty satellites are removed from the position solution, providing position integrity for the mariner.

SA was discontinued in 2000 and GPS now offers the civilian user a position accurate to around 3-5m. DGPS still improves positional accuracy - now enabling positions in the region of 1-2m - but it is the position integrity function that is most often cited as the main benefit of DGPS.

While marine radiobeacon DGPS is not mandated by the International Maritime Organization for carriage on SOLAS vessels, it is provided for in all maritime receiver standards and the spectrum is allocated internationally.


The infrastructure required to run the service is approaching the end of its design life; the GLAs conducted a stakeholder consultation to assess the requirements for the service going forward, surveying and interviewing stakeholders from across the maritime sector and beyond.

Of the responses received, 86% were from mariners and maritime operators, operating a wide range of vessels including ferries, container ships, tankers, liquid natural gas carriers, bulk carriers and leisure craft.

The survey resulted in a mix of responses, with the majority of mariners reporting that they use the DGPS system for accuracy improvements and integrity, while others reported that they do not use it.

All mariners reported using GPS today with around 40% also making use of GLONASS, and around 9% using Galileo too. From the response received, it is expected that more mariners will move to multi-constellation receivers, making use of GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and BeiDou over the next five to ten years.

Maritime Safety 

Following a change in maritime receiver standards in 2003, all receivers now include Receiver Autonomous Integrity Monitoring (RAIM). RAIM is a means of determining whether the resulting position estimate is safe to use through an algorithm within the receiver.

Differential corrections are also available from other sources, including Satellite Based Augmentation Systems (SBAS), which are primarily provided for aviation users. Work is under way in Europe to introduce a maritime service to EGNOS, the European SBAS. This service is expected to be available around 2022.

Vessels that need high accuracy position and integrity for operations mainly utilise a number of commercial satellite-based services; the decision to discontinue DGPS has no operational impact on these services.

The GLAs advise mariners to consider their use of DGPS and to plan for its discontinuance accordingly. Mariners should check their GNSS receiver(s) to confirm the presence of RAIM and consider upgrading to type-approved SBAS receiving equipment when available.

The GLAs encourage mariners to use all available AtoN - whether visual or electronic - to support their safe passage and the protection of the environment.

To download a PDF copy of the full DGPS article by Dr Alan Grant click here

Published in Lighthouses

Numbering a handful of men that still tend Ireland's lighthouses, but a move, writes, to renewable energy is bringing their unique way of life to an close.

'I can think of no other edifice constructed by man as altruistic as a lighthouse," George Bernard Shaw once said. "They were built only to serve."

Even after the leap in navigational technology represented by GPS, they maintain that historical function: shining a light for miles around, warning sailors and ships of dangers lurking beneath the surface.

The way they are powered is changing, though, and with it the work of the people who tend them.

The tradition of constantly manned lighthouses ended on March 24, 1997, but the lightkeepers' cottages are still inhabited for weeks at a time by maintenance staff who service the lights' diesel-powered motors.

Today, Irish Lights workers travel to sites including Fastnet Rock off Co Cork, Tuskar Rock off Co Wexford, Inishtrahull Island off Co Donegal, Slyne Head off Clifden in Co Galway and Kish Tower in Dublin Bay.

By 2025, however, all lighthouses, beacons and buoys dotted around the coast and in Irish waters will be powered by renewables. The amount of work for technicians who stay at remote lighthouses will fall.

To read more here including from Yvonne Shields O'Connor, chief executive of Irish Lights which is withdrawing from lighthouses' accommodation quarters.

Published in Lighthouses
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