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Displaying items by tag: lighthouse

The summer season sees Carlingford Lough Ferry kicking off with the launch of its passenger 'cruise' schedule.

As Dundalk Democrat writes, last week dates were released for their June Sunset cruises, which commences this Saturday June 12th and tickets are already being snapped up.

Carlingford Lough is an area of outstanding natural beauty, and is at its most beautiful as the sun sets over the Cooley Peninsula and the majestic Mourne Mountains.

These new sunset lough cruises are specifically designed to offer customers the opportunity to take a safe and socially distanced cruise on the iconic Carlingford Lough.

While onboard (Aisling Gabrielle), passengers will enjoy a fascinating audio tour, that will offer insights into the myths and legends of this majestic Lough, its formation as a glacial fjord, and its abundance of wildlife and bird life, in addition to live music and entertainment.

Carlingford Lough Ferry launched it’s passenger cruise service, ‘Carlingford Lough Cruises’ in 2019, and these passenger cruises on the Lough have since proved extremely popular with the number of cruises increasing annually.

This summer, they are extending their range of cruises once again and offering a host of new cruise experiences.

Their popular Lough & Lighthouse cruises return throughout July and August, with June featuring a new Sunset inner Lough cruise to start the summer season of cruises.

For more details on other themed cruises and prices click here.

Published in Ferry

Valentia Island Lighthouse has announced the launch of a new visitor experience, ‘Leading Lights at Cromwell Point’ and the re-opening for the 2021 season.

‘Leading Lights at Cromwell Point’ will deliver a whole new experience to the visitors, a journey through time and history, featuring the bronze age standing stone, the 17th century well preserved Cromwellian fort, the Lightkeeper’s House with a 1920’s feel, and the Lighthouse Tower with fantastic 360-degree views of the area and across the Atlantic Ocean. The visitors will learn about how life was for people living on the edge of Europe and in particular what was like for a lightkeeper to live at the Lighthouse with his family. The rich history of the area is also presented at the Lighthouse from early Christianity until modern days. There is also a new Eco-room that displays information about marine life in the area and raises awareness about our seas. The new Interpretation project covers a vast spectrum of information and it is very appealing for visitors with different areas of interest.

The Lighthouse Project is managed by Valentia Island Development Company, a community group established by volunteers from Valentia Island.

The Lighthouse Project is managed by a community group established by volunteers from Valentia Island The Lighthouse Project is managed by a community group established by volunteers from Valentia Island

Speaking about the new visitor experience, Lucian Horvat, Manager at Valentia Island Lighthouse said:

“Despite these unprecedented times, the Lighthouse Committee and Management were determined to deliver the project in time for the return of domestic tourism in line with Government guidelines. I would like to take the opportunity to thank Fáilte Ireland for their vital support and guidance, the South Kerry Development Partnership who have supported us since Valentia Island Lighthouse opened to the public in 2013, the Great Lighthouses of Ireland group, an initiative of Irish Lights, and Mirador Media who worked around the clock to implement our vision for the historical site at Valentia Island Lighthouse. ‘Leading Lights at Cromwell Point’ is a great example of collaboration between agencies, stakeholders and local community groups.”

The ‘Leading Lights at Cromwell Point’ visitor experience was developed through Fáilte Ireland’s ‘New Horizons on the Wild Atlantic Way’ Grants Scheme. Wild Atlantic Way Manager at Fáilte Ireland, Josephine O’Driscoll, said: “The Visitor Experience Development Plan for the Skelligs Coast, which was developed in consultation with local stakeholders, tourism businesses and the community, identified a number of development projects to bring local experiences along the Skellig Coast to life to help drive and sustain tourism in the area. Following the launch of the plan, we invested in a number of projects including €120,000 in the development of ‘Leading Lights at Cromwell Point’ at Valentia Island Lighthouse and it is fantastic to see the project come to fruition just in time for the summer season. Innovative visitor experiences such as this are hugely important in attracting visitors and encouraging them to stay longer in the area and will be critical as we look towards the recovery of the tourism sector.”

Brian Morgan – Director VIDC and Lighthouse Committee Chairperson said: “Best wishes to Lucian and our team on the re-opening of the Lighthouse for the season 2021. Tremendous work has been done to create a new experience at the lighthouse. The visitor will see for themselves what life must have been like for the lighthouse keeper and his family, to live in such an isolated place under harsh conditions. The new and improved visitor attraction is looking forward to welcoming even more visitors this year.”

Published in Lighthouses
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An abandoned lighthouse on the largest Aran island off Galway bay is for sale for over half a million euros.

As Times.ie reports today, the lighthouse and ruined buildings command a view of the Atlantic from the island’s highest point.

The site owned by an Aran island resident on about five acres takes its name from and is close to one of Inis Mór’s ring forts, Dún Eochalla.

Dún Eochalla was constructed with an inner stone fort and outer rampart, as one of a series of ring forts on the island – the best known being Dun Aonghasa.

The lighthouse several fields away has been advertised with a guide price of 550,000 euro.

It was constructed from about 1810, using island limestone, and took eight years to build.

The structure rose to 144 metres above sea level, and was visible from counties Galway, Clare, Mayo, Limerick and Kerry

It was decommissioned in 1857, however, as its use as a navigational aid was too limited. There were complaints that its beam could not be seen by shipping in heavy fog.

The residential quarters, now also in ruin, were built for lightkeepers and their families, who used to be stationed at lighthouses from the mid 19th century.

Joe Greaney of Keane Mahony Smith auctioneers in Galway said the property had potential as a “recreation project” for an investor with sufficient funds. It was used for a time as a museum, he said.

Read more at Times.ie here

Published in Island News
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Young authors have contributed to a new book published by The Commissioners of Irish Lights (CIL) which aims to benefit two charities.

The organisation’s Young Storykeepers’ Project has put together The Lighthouse Storybook, a collection of stories written by young children. 

The project was developed through the tourism and community partnership, Great Lighthouses of Ireland, and creative writing organisation Fighting Words and captured over 1250 stories by children between seven and 12 years old. 

All proceeds from the sale of The Lighthouse Storybook will directly support the work of Children in Hospital Ireland and the Northern Ireland Hospice, CIL says.

CIL chief executive Yvonne Shields O’Connor praised “this wonderful storybook, which is a selection from many original stories, poems and illustrations that were submitted by young writers aged 7–12 years from every corner of the island of Ireland and beyond” 

“For hundreds of years, lighthouses have kept seafarers safe, helping them find their way with a guiding light and safe journey,”she said, and it was fitting that sales of the book would “support wonderful organisations who help children navigate through their time in hospital.” 

Children in Hospital Ireland is a non-profit organisation committed to promoting and ensuring the welfare of all children in hospital, and Northern Ireland Hospice offers specialist respite, symptom management and end of life palliative care to children and adults each year across Northern Ireland.

Fighting Words was co-founded by Roddy Doyle and Seán Love in 2009 to help children and young people – along with adults who did not have this opportunity as children- to “discover and harness the power of their own imaginations and creative writing skills”.

People wishing to purchase the book can visit here

Published in Lighthouses
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The Old Head of Kinsale Lighthouse, made famous for being the nearest point of land (11 miles/18 km) to where the RMS Lusitania was sunk in 1915, was open to the public this weekend writes Bob Bateman.

Under the supervision of a lighthouse keeper, visitors were treated to tours of the 100-foot lighthouse that boasts beautiful panoramic views of one of the country’s most scenic peninsulas, which is a highlight for visitors.

old head of Kinsale Lighthouse2

A shuttle bus service brought members of the public to and from the Old Head of Kinsale Signal Tower.

The 200-year-old Signal Tower at the Old Head has been restored to its former glory and is officially open to the public as a Lusitania Museum. The Museum exhibits artefacts recovered from the wreckage of the ship on the top floor.

The bottom floor of the narrow tower hosts an exhibition on the history of the tower itself.

old head of Kinsale Lighthouse2(Above and below) The tower height is 30 metres (98 ft)old head of Kinsale Lighthouse2 The lighthouse is painted white with black horizontal bands

old head of Kinsale Lighthouse2The lighthouse building is a cylindrical tower with a balcony and lanternold head of Kinsale Lighthouse2The Old Head of Kinsale Lighthouse is the nearest point of land (11 miles/18 km) to where the RMS Lusitania was sunkold head of Kinsale Lighthouse2The range of the light is 20 nautical milesold head of Kinsale Lighthouse2old head of Kinsale Lighthouse2old head of Kinsale Lighthouse2The Old Head of Kinsale is popular with golfers who come to play on its 18-hole golf course that opened in 1997old head of Kinsale Lighthouse2

Published in Lighthouses
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The world’s oldest original operational lighthouse at Hook Head has been developing a series of unusual events. To mark the “beginning of Spring” it celebrates Ireland’s ‘Fire Goddess', by staging the first Imbolc Festival to be celebrated at the 800-year-old lighthouse.

Now it has announced that it will host another unusual event this Good Friday - a Sunset Tour Experience.

Jutting out to sea at the tip of the Hook Peninsula on the corner of Ireland’s Ancient East, there is, the Hook Head Lighthouse people say “no better place to take in the vast seascapes and glorious colours of Ireland’s Celtic Sea.”

They are not short of words or ideas at Hook!

The Sunset Tour Experience will offer visitors the opportunity to take a guided tour up the 115 well-worn steps of the medieval tower and see its heritage come to life as they meet life-sized figures of the Monk who first kept a beacon alight at the site in the 5th century followed by the Knight who built the tower, William Marshal and hear of life as a light-keeper before stepping on to the top floor outdoor balcony to take in the 360degree sweeping views of the Southeast of Ireland as the sun goes down.

“Tours culminate with the spectacular panoramic views of the rolling seas stretching out while visitors savour Irish mead, prosecco, fresh tea and coffee along with Ballyhack smokehouse smoked salmon on homemade brown bread, a selection of homemade canapés and homemade mini desserts in the private lighthouse watch-room and balcony,” according to the announcement.

The Sunset Tours Experience is available by advance booking only. Tickets are €45.00 per person and the organisers say this is an “adult only experience.” Tickets can be booked online at www.hookheritage.ie or by calling 051 397055.

Free facilities at Hook Lighthouse in County Wexford include parking, toilets, garden picnic areas and Wifi.

Published in Lighthouses
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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

Published in Lighthouses
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The Irish Lights issued a statement about the South Arklow Lightship that didn’t tell the full story.

Their official explanation that it was missing off station was that it had “disappeared.”

In reality it had been sunk!

Dr. Michael Kennedy of the Royal Irish Academy, who is also Executive Editor of ‘Documents on Irish Foreign Policy’, had a remarkable story to tell when he referred to the “Irish amnesiac condition” which has ignored the importance of the sea around our nation. His example, which has left a strong impression on me, is that the history of the First World War focusses strongly on the big land battles in Europe – but Ireland, the Irish coastline and seafarers were on the front line of that war… as were the men of the South Arklow Lightship.

He told me the story, which hasn’t had a lot of public attention, at a maritime history conference in University College, Cork.

Listen to Dr. Kennedy on the Podcast here and also to a tragic story about 338 sailors lost off Bloody Foreland and the rescue by RNLI of a team playing football.

• Tom MacSweeney presents THIS ISLAND NATION radio programme on local stations around Ireland

Published in Tom MacSweeney

A record number of people visited Loop Head Lighthouse on the Shannon Estuary in County Clare during 2016.

Figures from Clare County Council show that 27,274 people visited the lighthouse during the opening period up to Sunday 2 October compared to 27,010 during the same period in 2015.

The increase in visitors represents the fifth successive annual increase in visitor numbers at the West Clare landmark.

Clare County Council, which manages the Lighthouse in conjunction with the Commissioner of Irish Lights (CIL), first opened the popular visitor attraction to the public in 2011.

Loop Head Lighthouse, which is steeped in history and rich in maritime heritage with its origins dating back to the 1670s, is a landmark location on the Loop Head Heritage Trail. It is also one of two Signature Discovery Points in County Clare along the route of the Wild Atlantic Way and is one of 12 Great Lighthouses of Ireland that won a Silver award this week at the Responsible Tourism Awards

Published in Lighthouses
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#RNLI - Rosslare Harbour RNLI's volunteer crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 2am this morning (Wednesday 30 March) on request by the Irish Coast Guard to attend an injured man who was working on the Tuskar Rock lighthouse.

Once on scene, 8km from Rosslare Harbour, the all-weather lifeboat deployed its Y-class rescue boat to reach the landing area on the rock, but due to a heavy swell a landing was not possible.

Lifeboat operations manager David Maloney had anticipated that scenario and had already requested the coastguard helicopter Rescue 117 from Waterford.

The helicopter was quickly on scene and lifted the injured man aboard, flying him to Waterford Airport where an ambulance was waiting to transfer him to hospital.

Apart from a heavy swell, weather conditions at the time were calm with a clear dry night. The lifeboat remained in the area until the airlift was completed and then returned to base at Rosslare Europort.

Commenting after the event, Maloney said: "The lifeboat crew were quite correct in not attempting to land on the rock due to a heavy Atlantic swell. We wish the man a full recovery."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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