Thursday 29 September 2016

Gallery: 12 Irish lighthouses shining a new light on the coastline

Great Lighthouses of Ireland

Published 28/06/2015 | 02:30

Great Lighthouses of Ireland: Fanad Head, Co. Donegal. Photo/Copyright: Andy McInroy
Great Lighthouses of Ireland: Fanad Head, Co. Donegal. Photo/Copyright: Andy McInroy
Great Lighthouses of Ireland: St. John's Point, Co. Down. Photo/Copyright: Malcolm McGettigan
Great Lighthouses of Ireland: Ballycotton, Co. Cork. Photo/Copyright: Ciaran Walsh
Great Lighthouses of Ireland: Loop Head, Co. Clare. Photo/Copyright: Stephen Emerson
Great Lighthouses of Ireland: St. John's Point, Co. Donegal. Photo/copyright: Malcolm Mc Gettigan.
Great Lighthouses of Ireland: Wicklow Head. Photo/Copyright: Ros Kavanagh
Great Irish Lighthouses: Galley Head, Co. Cork. Photo/Copyright: Irish Landmark Trust
Great Lighthouses of Ireland: Clare Island, Co. Mayo. Photo/Copyright: Michael Mc Loughlin
Great Irish Lighthouses - Hook Lighthouse, Co. Wexford. Photo/Copyright: Stephen Emerson
Great Lighthouses of Ireland: Valentia Island, Co. Kerry. Photo/Copyright: Valerie O'Sullivan
Great Lighthouses of Ireland: Rathlin West. Photo/Copyright: Emma Mcfaul
Great Irish Lighthouses: Blackhead, Co. Antrim. Photo/Copyright: Malcom McGettigan

A new tourism initiative by the Commissioners of Irish Lights is rebooting 12 great lighthouses for the 21st century.

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The 'Great Lighthouses of Ireland' project features 12 iconic Irish lighthouses, ranging from St. John's Point in Donegal to Wexford's Hook Peninsula.

Each of the lighthouses, shown in our gallery above, offers services to visitors - ranging from accommodation to visitor centres and guided tours.

By re-inventing these coastal icons as sustainable tourist attractions, the cross-border project hopes to conserve Ireland’s maritime and lighthouse heritage.

The 12 Great Irish Lighthouses are:

  • St John’s Point, Co Donegal
  • Fanad Head, Co Donegal
  • Rathlin West Light, Co Antrim
  • Blackhead, 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

The project is supported by the European Union’s INTERREG IVA cross-border Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body.

Specific developments funded by the programme include new self-catering accommodation at the former lightkeepers' dwellings at Blackhead, Co. Antrim, St. John's Points in Down and Donegal, and Fanad in Donegal.

A visitor centre and facilities will also be provided at Rathlin West Light, Rathlin Island and at Fanad Head, Donegal - all expected to open to visitors this July.

Irish Lights operate over 70 lighthouses around the coast of Ireland. These lighthouses, although no longer manned, still play a vital role in maritime safety.

Project 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, Kerry County Council and Clare Island Lighthouse.  

You can learn more at greatirishlighthouses.com and cil.ie.

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