Plans to dim Fastnet Lighthouse cause upset in west Cork

Battery-powered LED beam due to replace three diesel generators

Fastnet Rock:  a famous mark in yacht racing. Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport/courtesy Baltimore RNLI

Fastnet Rock: a famous mark in yacht racing. Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport/courtesy Baltimore RNLI

 

Plans to dim the beam of Fastnet Lighthouse – known as Ireland’s teardrop by departing emigrants, and a welcome sight for arriving sailors – have upset some tourism interests in west Cork.

The beam shines 27 nautical miles into the Atlantic. The Commissioners of Irish Lights, which maintains navigational marks around the island, plans to install an Led-based light on the 28m tower from this summer. Powered by battery rather than the current three diesel generators, it will stretch only 18 nautical miles.

A west Cork community organisation involved in tourism said several such groups in the area were very upset by the plan, and noted that Fastnet is a protected structure.

The Independent Cork South-West TD Michael Collins, who lives near Schull, called on the lighthouse authority to start “immediate consultations” with the local community. He said tourism interests were very concerned about the loss of illumination at night, particularly on the landward side.

“Communities in Goleen, Schull, Baltimore and the islands of Roaringwater Bay are also worried about the visual impact of a shorter and narrower beam, given that this light is so important for safety at sea,” said Mr Collins, who added: “Just like president Mary Robinson had a light in her window for emigrants, so this Fastnet light represents something for Irish people everywhere.”

Irish Lights’ director of operations and navigational services, Capt Robert McCabe, said the new light would be more fuel efficient and, although less powerful, comply with the maximum range required for lights on British and Irish coasts.

The Irish South & West Fish Producers’ Organisation has welcomed the upgrade.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.