Monday 17 June 2019

New landmark is installed just off M11's junction 20

The lantern from the former lightship ‘Alf Skua’ in its new home on
the roundabout at junction 20 of the M11
The lantern from the former lightship ‘Alf Skua’ in its new home on the roundabout at junction 20 of the M11

Deborah Coleman

A new eye catching landmark was installed on the outskirts of Arklow on Friday.

The 10 tonne lantern from the former lightship 'Alf Skua' was placed on the roundabout at Junction 20 on the M11 and required two cranes to get it into position.

Over the last 18 months Arklow Municipal District (AMD) developed plans to refurbish the lantern and erect it a prominent place within the town. Funding of €28,000 was secured from the Fisheries Local Action Programme (FLAG) 2016-2023 and was matched by Wicklow County Council.

The lantern has been extensively refurbished and restored to its former glory. It represents a tribute to the maritime history of Arklow town and will now become a recognisable landmark within the area for locals and visitors alike.

AMD Cathaoirleach, Cllr Miriam Murphy, said that she is delighted that the lantern, which will be lit once the electricity supply is connected, now has a permanent home.

'I also wish to thank the following local companies who were engaged by Arklow Municipal District for their help in making this project possible: Arklow Marine Services, Arklow Crane Hire, Hudson Civil Engineering, ASL Safety and Training, Conor Mc Carthy & Associates and CHM Traffic Management.'

The lantern served for decades on the former lightship 'ALF Skua' (ARLHS IRE-122) having been based at several stations off the Irish coastline. The lightship 'Skua' was constructed in 1960 by Philip & Sons of Dartmouth for the Commissioners of Irish Lights (CIL). In 1982 the ship was converted to an unmanned automated lightfloat (ALF).

It served alternately on the South Rock (off the coast of Co Down) and Coningbeg (off the coast of Co Waterford) stations, but in later years it was moored at Dún Laoghaire as CIL's reserve light float until Irish Lights sold the lightship to Arklow Shipping Ltd in 2005.

Meanwhile, confirmation has also been received from Transport Infrastructure Ireland that they will clean and light up the sand castle sculpture on the slip road of junction 20 in the coming weeks.

Bray People