Great Lighthouses of Ireland is a new initiative by Irish Lights working in cooperation with local partners around the coast – north and south - to bring together 12 of our most spectacular working lighthouses, under a new brand called Great Lighthouses of Ireland. This project is a great way for us to celebrate and protect the history, tradition and heritage of our organisation and tell that story, alongside showing people what we do today.
Lighthouses are just one of a suite of marine aids to navigation provided by Irish Lights. Our core function is and always will be safety at sea. However advances in technology and automation means that, much of the old physical infrastructure at lighthouse stations is no longer required for core operations. We are developing a range of new uses for our infrastructure and given their spectacular locations, tourism is an obvious option for some of our lighthouses. Irish Lights through EU structural funds has invested over 2.5million euro in 5 lighthouse tourism projects between 2013 and 2015.
Each working lighthouse in the Great Lighthouses of Ireland partnership will now also operate as a visitor destination in its own right, so you can either visit and have a guided tour or stay at the lighthouse. Each lighthouse offers a distinct and unique experience true to its own history, heritage, people and place and will appeal to all ages and tastes whether you are interested in adventure, nature, history, romance, rest and relaxation.
Great Lighthouses of Ireland partners include the Commissioners of Irish Lights, Irish Landmark Trust, RSPB NI, Forbairt Fhanada Teoranta (Fanad Community Group), Hook Heritage Limited, Clare County Council, Ballycotton Island Lighthouse Tours, Mid & East Antrim Borough Council, Valentia Island Development Company and Clare Island Lighthouse. This is a great example of public private partnership focusing on tourism business development, co-operative marketing and promotion, setting standards, training guides and story keepers and sharing valuable business insights.
Great Lighthouses of Ireland will offer the public and visitors breath taking and memorable experiences telling the remarkable story of the sea, lighthouses past and present and the maritime and seafaring history of Ireland.
Click on the individual links below to visit the Great Lighthouses of Ireland locations.