Lighthouses of Western Ireland (Connacht and Ulster)

Ireland is traditionally divided into four provinces: Leinster in the east, Munster in the southwest, Connacht (Connaught) in the west, and Ulster in the north. These regions have no administrative function, but they remain convenient divisions of the island. This page covers lighthouses of the west coast of the Republic of Ireland, including Counties Galway, Mayo, and Sligo in Connacht and County Donegal in Ulster. (The rest of the Ulster coast is in Northern Ireland).

This is a beautiful coast, often rugged, exposed to the full force of Atlantic storms, and very dangerous to ships. It is guarded by a series of handsome nineteenth century lighthouses, nearly all of them still in service under the maintenance of the Commissioners of Irish Lights. Founded in 1786 by the Irish Parliament, the Commissioners maintain lighthouses in both Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. CIL numbers are from the light list of the Commissioners of Irish Lights. Admiralty numbers are from Volume A of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA numbers are from Publication 114.

General Sources
Commissioners of Irish Lights - Aids to Navigation
An interactive map leads to pages for each of the CIL lighthouses.
Online List of Lights - Ireland
Photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas.
Lighthouses in Ireland
Aerial photos posted by Marinas.com.
Pete's Irish Lighthouses
Peter Goulding's informative blog on the lighthouses of Ireland.
Lights of Ireland
Photos by John Eagle posted by Bill Britten on his Lighthouse Getaway site.
Irsko
Photos by Anna Jenšíková.
Lighthouses in Ireland
Photos available from Wikimedia; many of these photos were first posted on Geograph.org.uk.
World of Lighthouses - Ireland
Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.
Britische Leuchttürme auf historischen Postkarten
Historic postcard images posted by Klaus Huelse. Irish lighthouses are at the bottom of the page.

Inisheer Light
Inisheer Light, Aran Islands, July 2008
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Biscit

County Galway Lighthouses

Aran Islands Lighthouses
Note: The Aran Islands form a chain oriented southeast to northwest and located in the mouth of Galway Bay. The principal island, Inishmore, is accessible by ferry from Rossaveal on the north side of the bay. Both Inishmore and Inisheer, the southernmost island, are accessible by passenger ferry from Doolin, County Clare, on the south side of the bay.
* Inisheer (Fardurris Point)
1857. Active; focal plane 34 m (112 ft); white light, 6 s on, 6 s off; red light is shown over rocks to the east. 34 m (112 ft) round masonry tower with lantern and gallery, painted white with a single broad horizontal black band. Two keeper's houses enclosed by a stone wall. A photo is above, Scott Jon Siegel has a closeup, Trabas has a photo by John Eagle, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a satellite view. Inisheer is accessible by passenger ferry from Doolin, and the lighthouse is accessible by a hiking trail. Located on the southeastern point of the island. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Commissioners of Irish Lights. ARLHS IRE-041; CIL-2120; Admiralty A6334; NGA 7496.
Straw Island
1878. Active; focal plane 11 m (37 ft); two white flashes every 5 s. 10.5 m (35 ft) narrow round cylindrical masonry tower with lantern and gallery, attached to 1-story generator building. Lighthouse painted white; the gallery railing is painted red giving the tower the appearance of having a red horizontal band. Keeper's house demolished in 1938. A wind turbine provides power for the light. A photo is available, Trabas has John Eagle's aerial photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a small island at the entrance to Killeany Harbour near the southeastern end of Inishmore. Accessible only by boat; the lighthouse is easily viewed from ferries arriving in Killeany from Rossaveal. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Commissioners of Irish Lights. ARLHS IRE-072; CIL-2090; Admiralty A6298; NGA 7480.
* Inishmore (Dun Oghil)
1818. Inactive since 1857. Approx. 15 m (50 ft) round stone tower with gallery, unpainted. Lantern removed. Ruined stone keeper's houses enclosed by a stone wall. A photo is at right, Daemon Todd has a good photo, and Google has a satellite view. This lighthouse, located in the center of the Aran Islands, failed to warn ships away from the dangerous ends of the group, so it was replaced by the lighthouses at Eeragh and Inisheer. The lighthouse is clearly part of a private residence, and Ted Sarah has an undated photo showing it for sale. Located atop a hill about 120 m (400 ft) high in the center of Inishmore. Site and tower closed, but the lighthouse can be seen from outside the gate. Owner/site manager: private. ARLHS IRE-087.
Eeragh (Aran North)
1857. Active; focal plane 35 m (115 ft); white flash every 15 s. 31 m (101 ft) round limestone tower with lantern and gallery, painted white with two horizontal black bands. Lantern painted white. 1-story keeper's house; other buildings demolished. Trabas has an aerial photo by John Eagle, a distant view is available, Marinas.com also has aerial photos, and Bing has a satellite view (Google has only a fuzzy satellite view of the area). Since 1996 the light has been powered by a wind turbine. Located on Brannock Island, a bare, rocky island at the northwestern end of the Aran group. Accessible only by boat; should be visible from the western end of Inishmore. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Commissioners of Irish Lights. ARLHS IRE-032; CIL-2070; Admiralty A6296; NGA 7472.

Inishmore Light
Inishmore Light, Aran Islands, June 2008
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Ruairí


Galway Harbour Lighthouses
Galway Harbour (Leverets)
1977. Active; focal plane 9 m (30 ft); quick-flashing white, red or green light, depending on direction. 9 m (30 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and a small gallery. Tower painted with black and white horizontal bands; lantern is unpainted metallic gray. Trabas has a photo, a 2010 photo is available, Goulding has two distant photos, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a satellite view. This modern lighthouse replaced the Mutton Island Light as the main light for Galway Harbour. Located in Galway Bay off Hare Island about 1.5 km (1 mi) southeast of the harbor. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. Owner/operator: Galway Harbour Company. ARLHS IRE-104; Admiralty A6317; NGA 7508.
* Mutton Island
1817. Inactive since 1977. Round masonry tower with lantern and gallery, originally painted white, attached to 1-story keeper's house. Keeper's house in ruins, open to the elements. A photo is at right, Claddagh School has a web page with a good photo of the lighthouse, Goulding has a page with several photos, a 2008 photo is available, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a satellite view. This abandoned lighthouse was reported in very poor condition as of 2004; it has surely been one of Ireland's most endangered lighthouses. In January 2005, however, the Galway Civic Trust and the Heritage Office of the Galway City Council began a restoration project funded by a grant of €40,000. This lengthy project was completed in the fall of 2011, and the lighthouse opened for guided tours in 2012. In 2014, however, tours were suspended due to a rat infestation on the island. Located next to a sewage treatment plant on a small island off Salthill about 5 km (3 mi) southwest of Galway; the island is accessible from the mainland by causeway. Site and tower closed unless and until tours resume. Owner: City of Galway. Site manager: Galway Civic Trust. ARLHS IRE-107.
Mutton Island Light
Mutton Island Light, Galway, August 2011
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Fergal of Claddagh (no longer online)

West Coast Lighthouses
Croaghnakeela
1904. Active; focal plane 7 m (22 ft); white flash every 3.7 s. 4 m (13 ft) square white concrete equipment room with the light mounted on the top. Trabas has a distant photo, and Bing has a satellite view. Croaghnakeela is a small island facing the open Atlantic about 8 km (5 mi) west of Ard. Formerly inhabited, it is now a deer sanctuary. Located on the southwestern side of the island. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. Operator: unknown. ARLHS IRE-132; Admiralty A6292; NGA 7452.
* Inishnee (2)
1961 (station established 1910). Active; focal plane 9 m (30 ft); two flashes every 10 s, white, red or green depending on direction. 4 m (13 ft) square white concrete equipment room with the light mounted on the top. Trabas has a photo, and Bing has a satellite view. Inishnee is a large island in Bertraghboy Bay. Located at the southwestern point of the island, marking the east side of the entrance to the harbor of Roundstone. The island is accessible by bridge. Site open, tower closed. Operator: unknown. ARLHS IRE-133; Admiralty A6290; NGA 7448.
Slyne Head (East)
1836 (George Halpin). Inactive since 1898. Approx. 18 m (60 ft) round stone tower, unpainted. Keeper's houses and other buildings enclosed by a stone wall. Trabas has a good aerial photo by John Eagle, Goulding has a page with distant photos, and Google has a satellite view. Slyne Head originally had twin towers. The east tower was abandoned and its lantern was removed when the station was upgraded in 1898. The towers are traditionally described as East and West, but this tower is actually south southeast of the active lighthouse. Located on Illaunamid, a rocky islet at the western end of a reef off Slyne Head, the westernmost point of County Galway, about 12 km (8.5 mi) southwest of Doonlaughan. Accessible only by helicopter. Site and tower closed. Owner/site manager: Commissioners of Irish Lights. ARLHS IRE-124.
Slyne Head (West)
1836 (George Halpin). Active; focal plane 35 m (115 ft); two white flashes, separated by 2.4 s, every 15 s. 24 m (79 ft) round stone tower with lantern and gallery, tower and lantern painted black. Keeper's houses and other buildings enclosed by a stone wall. A photo is at right, Marc Frey has a distant view, Trabas has a good aerial photo by John Eagle, Goulding has a page with distant photos, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a satellite view. The original lantern was replaced with a new Chance Brothers lantern and lens in 1898, and the tower was first painted black in 1907. The light was converted to solar power in 2002. Located a short distance north northwest of the East lighthouse. Accessible only by helicopter; there are distant views from the mainland near the Connemara Golf Club. Site and tower closed. Operator: Commissioners of Irish Lights. ARLHS IRE-069; CIL-1990; Admiralty A6288; NGA 7444.
[Fishing Point]
Date unknown. Unlit daybeacon. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) round stone tower, painted white. A photo and a distant view are available, and Google has a satellite view. The beacon is known locally as the White Lady. Located at the tip of a headland on the south side of the entrance to Clifden Bay. Site open, tower closed. Owner: Commissioners of Irish Lights. CIL-1970.
Cleggan Point
1901. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); three flashes every 15 s, white, red or green depending on direction. 4.5 m (15 ft) square white concrete equipment room with the light mounted on the top. Trabas has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a rocky headland at the northern entrance to the harbor of Cleggan, about 2 km (1.25 mi) northwest of the town. May be accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. Operator: unknown. ARLHS IRE-131; Admiralty A6284; NGA 7440.
Slyne Head Light
Slyne Head West Light, Connemara
Commissioners of Irish Lights photo
#[Gun Rock (Inishbofin) (2)]
Date unknown (station established 1909). Destroyed by a storm in January 2014. The light was mounted on a small square equipment cabinet, painted white with a red vertical stripe. A photo is available, Dan Heller has several photos, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a satellite view. The light was swept away by a severe winter storm. Still standing is an approximately 10 m (33 ft) round masonry tower, painted white. Johnny Saunderson inquired locally and found that this tower and the two range towers (next entry) were built as daybeacons to guide local fishermen through the tricky approach to the harbor. Located on a rock off the south coast of Inishbofin island, about 8 km (5 mi) west northwest of Cleggan. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Commissioners of Irish Lights. CIL-1960; Admiralty A6282; NGA 7436.
* Inishbofin Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 23 m (75 ft); continuous (?) white, red or green light depending on direction. 10 m (33 ft) mast atop a round masonry tower, painted white. About 120 m (400 ft) northeast is a 6 m (20 ft) round masonry tower, painted white; this is an unlit rear range tower. A photo shows the range towers and the Gun Rock towers (previous entry), and the tower is in a bend of the road in Google's satellite view. These beacons guide the ferry arriving at Inishbofin from Cleggan. Located beside the road about 400 m (1/4 mi) west of the Inishbofin ferry terminal. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Commissioners of Irish Lights. CIL-1950; Admiralty A6282.3.

County Mayo Lighthouses

Lough Corrib Lighthouse
* Ballycurrin (Ballycurran)
1772 (Henry Lynch). Inactive. Approx. 7 m (23 ft) round rubblestone tower; access to the watch room is provided by stairs that spiral around the tower. Paul Duffy has a closeup photo, Conor Ledwith has another photo, and Bing has a satellite view. Lough Corrib, Ireland's second largest lake, is located a few miles north of Galway. During the late 1800s and early 1900s, vessels could reach the lake from Galway via the Eglinton Canal, but that waterway has been out of service for many years. Privately built, the lighthouse is said to have remained active until fairly recent times. Located on a dock on the northeastern shore of the lake near Ballycurrin. Site open, tower closed.

Clew Bay Lighthouses
Inishgort
1827. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); one long (2 s) flash every 10 s. 8 m (26 ft) round cylindrical masonry tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. Keeper's house and other buildings enclosed by a stone wall. Trabas has a photo by John Eagle, Aiden Clark has a good view from the water, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a satellite view. Although Findlay's 1879 Light List has 1827 as the date of this lighthouse, the CIL page says it was built in 1806. This may be due to confusion of this lighthouse and the Clare Island lighthouse (next entry). Located on a small island off the harbor of Westport. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Commissioners of Irish Lights. ARLHS IRE-042; CIL-1910; Admiralty A6278; NGA 7428.
* Clare Island (2)
1818 (station established 1806). Inactive since 1965. Approx. 11 m (36 ft) round cylindrical masonry tower with lantern and gallery, attached to 1-story keeper's house. Buildings painted white. Additional keeper's houses and other buildings enclosed by a stone wall. Oliver Dixon's photo is at right, Mark Zanzig has a great closeup photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a satellite view. The original lighthouse, built by the Marquis of Sligo to mark the entrance to Clew Bay, was replaced after being heavily damaged by fire in September 1813. The light was moved to Achillbeg Island in 1965. After deactivation, the lighthouse was sold, restored by private owners, and operated as a bed and breakfast inn. In 2001 the owners retired, and the lighthouse was sold again, this time as a private residence for Lady Georgina Forbes. In 2006 it was once again on the market, and in 2008 it was sold for €1.05 million to a German doctor as a vacation home. Clare Island is accessible by passenger ferry from Roonagh Quay west of Louisburgh. Located on the northern tip of the island. Site and tower closed, although the lighthouse can be viewed from outside the enclosure. Owner/site manager: private. ARLHS IRE-017.
Achillbeg
1965. Active; focal plane 56 m (184 ft); flash every 5 s, red or white depending on direction. 8.5 m (28 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern attached to a small square concrete equipment building. Trabas has John Eagle's view from the sea, and Google has a satellite view. This modern lighthouse was built to replace the Clare Island Light. Located on a small island off Cloughmore on the south side of Achill Island, marking the northern entrance to Clew Bay; there should be views from the Cloughmore area. Accessible only by boat or helicopter. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Commissioners of Irish Lights. ARLHS IRE-001; CIL-1890; Admiralty A6276; NGA 7416.
Clare Island Light
Clare Island Light, Clew Bay, June 2009
Geograph Creative Commons photo by Oliver Dixon

Mullet Peninsula Area Lighthouses
Blackrock Mayo
1864. Active; focal plane 86 m (282 ft); white flash every 12 s; red flashes are shown over a sector to the east. 15 m (50 ft) round stone tower with lantern and gallery attached to 1-story keeper's houses (the houses are unroofed and falling into ruin). Lighthouse painted white. One of Ireland's most remote lighthouses. Trabas has a fine aerial photo by John Eagle, Marinas.com also has good aerial photos, and Google has a satellite view. A shore station was constructed in Blacksod; keeper's houses there were sold into private ownership in 1957 and probably survive. In 1999, when the light was converted to solar power, one of the keeper's houses was restored to provide accommodations for work crews doing maintenance on the light. The other house is unroofed and has been gutted inside. Note that there is another Blackrock Light in Sligo (see below). Located atop a high rocky islet about 20 km (12 mi) west of Blacksod Point. Accessible only by helicopter. Site and tower closed. Operator: Commissioners of Irish Lights. ARLHS IRE-010; CIL-1860; Admiralty A6270; NGA 7388.
* Blacksod Point
1864. Active; focal plane 13 m (42 ft); two white flashes every 7.5 s; red flashes are shown over rocks to the south southwest. 12 m (40 ft) 2-story granite block keeper's house topped by a lantern; house is unpainted, lantern painted white. An adjoining helicopter base supports the offshore Blackrock and Eagle Island lighthouses. Trabas has a good closeup photo, Laura Burgess has a 2010 photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Google has a street view, and Bing has a satellite view. The keeper's house is occupied by a resident attendent, who is also responsible for Blackrock Light (previous entry). The house was repaired after being damaged by a huge wave in 1989. Located at the south end of the Mullet Peninsula, at the end of the R313 highway about 7 km (4 mi) south of Aughleam. Accessible by road. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Commissioners of Irish Lights. ARLHS IRE-012; CIL-1870; Admiralty A6272; NGA 7392.
Eagle Island East
1835. Inactive since 1895. This round stone tower was originally 26.5 m (87 ft) tall, showing its light at the same focal plane as the west tower. After deactivation, the lantern was removed and the tower was reduced in height to about 12 m (40 ft). It can be seen at the far right in Trabas's photo of the station. Located on a small island off Doonamo Head at the northwestern tip of County Mayo. Accessible only by helicopter; visible distantly from Corclough, about 12 km (7.5 mi) northwest of Belmullet. Site and tower closed. Operator: Commissioners of Irish Lights. ARLHS IRE-115.
Eagle Island (West)
1835. Active; focal plane 67 m (220 ft); three white flashes, separated by 2.5 s, every 15 s. 9 m (30 ft) round stone tower, painted white; lantern removed. 2-story keeper's house, unoccupied, and other buildings protected from the sea by a high stone wall rising almost to gallery level. Trabas has John Eagle's view from the sea, Marinas.com has good aerial photos, and Google has a fine satellite view. Originally the station had twin towers, with the east tower being 120 m (132 yd) northeast of the surviving tower. Despite the elevation of the station, it has been hit more than once by huge storm waves sweeping off the open Atlantic. A monster wave on 11 March 1861 actually broke over the east light, shattering the lantern and flooding the tower. The east light was discontinued in 1895 and its tower was reduced in height. A shore station for the lighthouse was established at Corclough in 1900; keeper's houses there were sold into private ownership in 1956 and probably survive. In 2013, the lantern of the lighthouse was removed and replaced by a steel cap with the light mounted at the top. Located on a small island off Doonamo Head at the northwestern tip of County Mayo. Accessible only by helicopter; visible distantly from Corclough, about 12 km (7.5 mi) northwest of Belmullet. Site and tower closed. Operator: Commissioners of Irish Lights. ARLHS IRE-031; CIL-1850;Admiralty A6268; NGA 7384.
* Broadhaven (Ballyglass)
1848 (not lit until 1855). Active; focal plane 27 m (87 ft); white or red light, depending on direction, 2 s on, 2 s off. 15 m (50 ft) round masonry tower with lantern and gallery, painted white; gallery rail painted red. 1-story keeper's house. Trabas has a closeup photo, Ben Bulben has a 2010 photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a satellite view and a distant street view. Because approval for a lighthouse could not be secured, the tower was built initially as a daymark. The light marks the start of the approach to Belmullet. Located on a promentory (known as Ballyglass Point or Gubacashel Point) on the west side of the entrance to the narrow portion of Broadhaven Bay, about 5 km (3 mi) northeast of Knocknalina. There is an ungated road to this site. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Commissioners of Irish Lights. ARLHS IRE-086; CIL-1840; Admiralty A6266; NGA 7380.
Broadhaven Light
Broadhaven Light, Broadhaven, May 2010
Geograph Creative Commons photo by Oliver Dixon

County Sligo Lighthouses

Sligo Area Lighthouses
Blackrock Sligo
1835 (extension of 1819 daybeacon). Active; focal plane 24 m (79 ft); white flash every 5 s; an auxiliary light at 12 m (41 ft) shows a red flash every 3 s to the northwest over Wheat and Seal Rocks. 25 m (83 ft) round stone tower, comprising an 11 m (36 ft) solid limestone daybeacon built in 1819 topped by a 14 m (47 ft) limestone tower with lantern and gallery. Access to the lighthouse is by an external spiral stairway built around the lower segment of the tower. Lighthouse painted white with a single black horizontal band just above the joint in the tower. Trabas has a great closeup by John Eagle, Goulding's page has distant photos and a historic closeup, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Bing has a satellite view. The first daybeacon was built on the rock in the late 1700s; it was swept away by a storm in 1814. Note that there is another Blackrock Light, not so far away in County Mayo (see above). Located on a rocky islet, awash at high tide, marking the beginning of the approach to Sligo Harbour from Sligo Bay. Accessible only by boat; distantly visible from Raghley or Rosses Point on the mainland. Site and tower closed. Operator: Commissioners of Irish Lights. ARLHS IRE-011; CIL-1780; Admiralty A6232; NGA 7360.
Oyster Island (2) (Metal Man Range Rear)
1893 (station established 1837). Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); white light, 3 s on, 1 s off. 12 m (40 ft) round masonry tower with lantern and gallery. Tower painted buff, lantern white, gallery rail red. Kenneth Allen's photo is at right, Goulding has a page with photos, Trabas has a good photo by John Eagle, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a satellite view. A pair of range lighthouses were built on Oyster Island in 1837. They were discontinued in 1891 due to changes in the line of approach. This lighthouse was built on the site of the former rear range light, and in 1932 it became a rear light itself, with the Metal Man (next entry) as the front light. Located on the northwestern point of Oyster Island about 365 m (1/4 mi) southeast of the Metal Man beacon (next entry). Accessible only by boat; visible from Rosses Point. Site and tower closed. Operator: Commissioners of Irish Lights. ARLHS IRE-056; CIL-1810; Admiralty A6244.1; NGA 7372.
[Metal Man (Range Front)]
1821. Active; focal plane 3 m (10 ft); white flash every 4 s. Light mounted on a short mast on a concrete base; standing beside the light is a cast iron sculpture of a sailor, his cap and coat painted dark blue and his trousers painted white, his arm outstretched to warn ships away from the rocks. Goulding has a page with photos, Trabas has a closeup photo by John Eagle, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a satellite view. According to CIL's web page, this statue originally was intended to be placed atop the 1819 Blackrock daybeacon; it was relocated when a decision was made to convert that beacon to a lighthouse. The figure, commissioned by the widow of ship captain who wrecked nearby, was designed by the sculptor John Kirk. Another figure cast from the same mold stands on a daybeacon at Tramore, near Waterford on the other side of Ireland (see the Southwestern Ireland page). Located off Rosses Point; easily visible from shore. Site and tower closed. Operator: Commissioners of Irish Lights. ARLHS IRE-051; CIL-1790; Admiralty A6244; NGA 7368.

Oyster Island Light, Rosses Point, May 2008
Geograph Creative Commons photo by Kenneth Allen
Lower Rosses
1908. Active; focal plane 8 m (26 ft); two flashes every 10 s, white, red or green depending on direction. 8 m (26 ft) tower with gallery, the light atop a white square equipment room mounted on wooden pilings. Trabas has a photo, and Bing has a satellite view. This directional light guides ships through the Needles Channel as they enter Sligo Harbour. Located about 200 m (650 ft) offshore and about 1.6 km (1 mi) north of Rosses Point. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. Operator: Commissioners of Irish Lights. ARLHS IRE-063; CIL-1800; Admiralty A6236; NGA 7364.

County Donegal Lighthouses

Donegal Bay Lighthouses
* St. John's Point Donegal
1831. Active; focal plane 30 m (98 ft); one long (1.5 s) white flash every 6 s. 14.5 m (47 ft) round masonry tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. A large Fresnel lens is in use. 1-story keeper's houses and other buildings enclosed by a stone wall. At least one of the keeper's houses is occupied, presumably by a resident keeper. Note that there is a somewhat-better-known St. John's Point Light in County Down, Northern Ireland. Louise Price's photo is at right, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Trabas has a closeup photo by John Eagle, Chris Burrell has a photo, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. St. John's Point is at the end of a narrow, 15 km (9 mi) long peninsula extending southwest into Donegal Bay south of Dunkineely. The lighthouse is at the end of the peninsula, with spectacular views of the bay and the Irish coast. Accessible by an unpaved farm road (4WD recommended); there may be cows on the road. Site and tower closed, but the lighthouse can be viewed from outside the enclosure. Operator: Commissioners of Irish Lights. ARLHS IRE-096; CIL-1760; Admiralty A6222; NGA 7336.
Rotten Island
1838. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); white flash every 4 s; red flashes are shown to the south southeast to warn ships on a collision course with the island. 14.5 m (47 ft) round masonry tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. 1-story keeper's houses and other buildings enclosed by a stone wall. Trabas has a closeup by John Eagle, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a small island northeast of St. John's Point on the east side of the entrance to Killybegs Harbour. Accessible only by boat; there are distant views from the mainland and from the St. John's Point peninsula. Site and tower closed. Operator: Commissioners of Irish Lights. ARLHS IRE-065; CIL-1710; Admiralty A6224; NGA 7340.
St. John's Point Light
St. John's Point Light, May 2009
Geograph Creative Commons photo by Louise Price
Rathlin O'Birne
1856. Active; focal plane 35 m (116 ft); flash every 15 s, red to the northeast and white in other directions. 20 m (66 ft) round stone tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. 1-story keeper's house and other buildings. Trabas has an aerial photo by John Eagle, Marinas.com also has aerial photos, and Bing has a satellite view. Not to be confused with the Rathlin Island lighthouses of Northern Ireland. This was the first major Irish lighthouse to be converted to solar power, in 1994. Earlier it had powered by a nuclear generator from 1974 to 1987, and then by a wind turbine. The lighthouse is located on Rathlin O'Birne, a small island about 3 km (2 mi) west of Malin Beg, off the southwestern tip of County Donegal; it marks the northern entrance to Donegal Bay. Accessible only by boat; there are distant views from the mainland. Site and tower closed. Operator: Commissioners of Irish Lights. ARLHS IRE-058; CIL-1700; Admiralty A6216; NGA 7332.

Aran Island and Aran Sound Lighthouses
* Wyon (Wine) Point
1905. Active; focal plane 8 m (26 ft); two flashes every 10 s, white, red or green depending on direction. 4.5 m (15 ft) square white concrete equipment room with the light mounted on the top. Trabas has a photo, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on a headland about 1.6 km (1 mi) northwest of Maghery, marking the southern entrance to the Sound of Aran. Site open, tower closed. Operator: unknown. ARLHS IRE-135; Admiralty A6213.8; NGA 7304.
* Aranmore (2)
1865 (station established 1798, inactive 1832-1865). Active; focal plane 71 m (233 ft); two white flashes, separated by 4 s, every 20 s; an auxiliary light shows a red flash every 3 s, at a focal plane of 61 m (200 ft), over the Stags Rocks to the northeast. 23 m (75 ft) round stone tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. 3rd order Fresnel lens (1953) in use. 2-story keeper's house, unoccupied. The light station, closed when Tory Island Light was established, was reopened as a result of years of protests. The original station was demolished to provide building material for the new tower, a sibling of Rathlin O'Birne Light (see below). Kenneth Allen's photo is at right, Trabas has posted a closeup photo by John Eagle, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. Aran Island is accessible by car ferry from Burtonport. The attendent for the lighthouse now lives in Leabgarrow, the only town on the island. Located at the northwest corner of the island about 7 km (4 mi) northwest of Leabgarrow; accessible by road but no parking provided. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Commissioners of Irish Lights. ARLHS IRE-002; CIL-1640; Admiralty A6208; NGA 7296.
Ballagh Rocks
1982. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); white flash every 2.5 s. 10 m (33 ft) round conical tower with a rounded top, the light being mounted at the peak, attached to a square 1-story equipment room. Lighthouse painted white with one horizontal black band. Trabas has a photo, Goulding's page has photos, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on a rocky reef in the northern entrance to the Sound of Aran, about 800 m (1/2 mi) northeast of Leabgarrow. Accessible only by by boat. Site and tower closed. Operator: unknown. ARLHS IRE-005; CIL-1650; Admiralty A6210.

Aranmore Light, Aran Island, July 2007
Geograph Creative Commons photo by Kenneth Allen

North Coast Lighthouses
Inishsirrer
1913. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); white flash every 3.7 s. 4 m (13 ft) square white concrete equipment room with the light mounted on the top. Trabas has a photo, and Bing has a satellite view. Inishsirrer is an island about 6 km (4.5 mi) northwest of Bunbeg. No longer inhabited, the island is a wildlife refuge. Located at the western tip of the island. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. Operator: unknown. Site manager: Inishsirrer and Inishmeane Special Protection Area. ARLHS IRE-121; Admiralty A6204; NGA 7288.
* Tory Island (Thoraigh, Toraigh)
1832. Active; focal plane 40 m (131 ft); four white flashes, separated by 5 s, every 30 s, day and night. 27 m (88 ft) round stone tower with lantern and gallery, painted in broad black and white horizontal bands. 1st order Fresnel lens (1887) in use. 2-story keeper's houses and other buildings; one of the keeper's houses is occupied by a resident attendent. Trabas has a closeup photo by John Eagle, David Baird has a 2009 photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Bing has a satellite view. Like Inishtrahull, this lighthouse is an important landfall light for ships arriving to the north of Ireland. Tory Island, a popular tourist destination, is accessible in the summer by passenger ferry from Magheroarty and Bunbeg. Located at the western end of the island, about 4 km (2.5 mi) from the ferry landing; accessible by hiking trail. Site and tower closed, but the lighthouse can be viewed from outside the enclosure. Operator: Commissioners of Irish Lights. ARLHS IRE-075; CIL-1610; Admiralty A6200; NGA 7280.
* Fanad Head (2)
1886 (station established 1817). Active; focal plane 39 m (127 ft); five white flashes every 20 s. 22 m (72 ft) round masonry tower with lantern and gallery, painted white, connected by a covered walkway to 2-story keeper's house; 300 mm lens. Several additional keeper's houses and other buildings enclosed by a stone wall. A photo is at right, Trabas has a great photo, Kathy Collins has a nice closeup photo, Goulding's page has several photos, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Huelse has a historic postcard view, Google has a street view, and Bing has a satellite view. One of the keeper's houses is occupied by a resident attendent. This lighthouse stands on a very picturesque site at the western entrance to Lough Swilly, making the lighthouse a favorite subject of photographers. The original lighthouse was a sibling of Mutton Island Light, Galway (see below). Located atop a vertical cliff about 3 km (2 mi) northeast of Arryheernabin. Site and tower closed, but the lighthouse can be viewed from outside the enclosure. Operator: Commissioners of Irish Lights. ARLHS IRE-085; CIL-1580; Admiralty A6168; NGA 7240.
* [Buncrana Pierhead (2)]
1916 (station established 1876). Inactive since 2009. 5.5 m (18 ft) steel post with gallery and a small lantern. Greg Clarke has a photo. Removed from the pierhead in 2009, the beacon was restored in 2010 through the efforts of Peter Gurrie and the West Inishowen History and Heritage Group. Located on the waterfront in Buncrana. Owner/site manager: Town of Buncrana.
* Buncrana Pierhead (3)
2009 (station established 1876). Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); red or white light, depending on direction, 2 s on, 2 s off. 8.5 m (28 ft) round cylindrical fiberglass (?) tower, red with a white horizontal band. Google has a street view, and Bing has a satellite view. Located at the end of the pier at Buncrana, on the east side of upper Lough Swilly. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Commissioners of Irish Lights. CIL-1530; Admiralty A6174; NGA 7248.
* Dunree Head
1876. Active; focal plane 46 m (151 ft); two white flashes every 5 s, with red sectors displayed near shore in both directions. 6 m (20 ft) lantern, placed directly on the ground, attached to a 1-story keeper's house. Lantern and buildings painted white. Fresnel lens in use. Trabas has a good photo, Kenneth Allen has a 2009 photo, Goulding's page has distant views, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a satellite view and a distant street view. Located on a sharp headland on the east side of Lough Swilly opposite Portsalon and about 20 km (13 mi) northwest of Buncrana. Site evidently open, tower closed. Operator: Commissioners of Irish Lights. ARLHS IRE-030; CIL-1490; Admiralty A6172; NGA 7244.

Fanad Head Light
Fanad Head Light, Portsalon, July 2008
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Filko Dawidzinski

Inishtrahull (West)
1958 (fog signal station established in 1905). Active; focal plane 59 m (194 ft); three white flashes, separated by 2.3 s, every 15 s. 23 m (75 ft) round cylindrical reinforced concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted white; 375 mm lens. A diaphone fog signal (deactivated in 1987) is mounted atop the lantern, so from a distance the lighthouse appears to be wearing a hat. 2-story keeper's house, fog signal building (inactive since 1958), and other light station buildings. A closeup photo and a distant view are available, Marinas.com has good aerial photos, and Arnold Price has an even more distant view, but Google has only a distant and fuzzy satellite view. Inishtrahull is a rocky, uninhabited island 10 km (6 mi) north of Malin Head, the northernmost point of the Irish mainland. Inishtrahull Light, Ireland's northernmost lighthouse, is the traditional landfall light for ships arriving at the North Channel. Forand has a historic postcard view of the first lighthouse on the island, built in 1812 at the east end; it was deactivated in 1958 and demolished the following year. Located at the west end of the island; accessible only by helicopter (landing from a boat is very dangerous). Site and tower closed. ARLHS IRE-045; CIL-1480; Admiralty A6164; NGA 7236.

Lough Foyle Lighthouses (see also Northern Ireland)
* Inishowen Head (Shrove, Shroove) (West)
1837. Active; focal plane 28 m (92 ft); two flashes every 10 s, white, red, or green depending on direction. 22.5 m (74 ft) round two-stage tower with lantern and double gallery. The lower portion is a 15 m (49 ft) granite tower built in 1837 by George Halpin; the upper portion is a 7.5 m (25 ft) cast iron tower added by J.S. Sloane in 1871. Lighthouse painted white with two narrow black horizontal bands (at the top and bottom of the cast iron section). Fog horn (2 blasts every 30 s). Three 2-story keeper's houses; one is occupied by a resident attendent and the others serve as vacation cottages for CIL staff. Patrick Mackie's photo is at right, Trabas has a good closeup, Goulding's page has two photos, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Google has a street view, and Bing has a satellite view of the station. The light station has a complex history, as several generations of managers sought to provide adequate warning of the dangerous Tuns Bank offshore. Originally there was a second 15 m (49 ft) granite tower, identical to the first, about 140 m (153 yd) to the east. This became the low light after the west tower was raised in 1871. The east tower was deactivated in 1961 and its upper section was removed (see next entry). A historic photo showing both towers can be compared to a similar modern photo by Andy McInroy. The light station is actually located on at Dunagree Point, 1 km (0.6 mi) south of Inishowen Head, marking the entrance to Lough Foyle. Accessible by road at the end of the R241 highway about 5 km (3 mi) northeast of Greencastle. Site and tower closed, but the lighthouse can be viewed from outside the enclosure. Operator: Commissioners of Irish Lights. ARLHS IRE-043; CIL-1460; Admiralty A6084; NGA 7076.
* Inishowen Head East
1837. Inactive since 1961. Approx. 7.5 m (25 ft) granite tower with gallery, painted white with a black band at the top. The tower can be seen in the third of the Marinas.com aerial photos, Google has a street view, and Bing has a satellite view. This is the stump of the original eastern tower. Site and tower closed, but the lighthouse can be viewed from outside the enclosure. Owner: Commissioners of Irish Lights.
* Warren Point
1861. Active; focal plane 9 m (30 ft); white flash every 1.5 s. 8 m (27 ft) round cylindrical brick tower with lantern, painted white with green trim. Trabas has an excellent closeup, Goulding's page has a photo, Eoin O'Riordan has another photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Bing has a satellite view. The light is behind the 12th green of the Greencastle Golf Club. Located 2.4 km (1.5 mi) southwest of the Inishowen Head Light and about the same distance northeast of Greencastle. Site open (with consent of the golf club), tower closed. Operator: Londonderry Port and Harbour Commissioners. Site manager: Greencastle Golf Club. ARLHS IRE-112; Admiralty A6088; NGA 7080.
Inishowen Light
Inishowen Head Light, Greencastle, October 2012
Geograph Creative Commons photo by Patrick Mackie
Moville
1882. Active; focal plane 11 m (37 ft); flash every 2.5 s, white to the southeast and red to the northwest. 13.5 m (44 ft) round tower with lantern and gallery rising from a small watch room, mounted on a platform supported by piles. Trabas has a good photo, Goulding's page has photos, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Bing has a satellite view. This lighthouse is the largest of a series of pile lights built on Lough Foyle during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Keepers lived in town, but spent the night in the watch room. Note: The British government claims that all of Lough Foyle lies within the United Kingdom, but this claim is not accepted by the Irish government. In the Belfast Agreement of 1998, the two governments agreed to continue disagreeing about this dispute; instead of resolving it they established an intergovernmental Loughs Agency to administer the waters of Lough Foyle as well as Carlingford Lough, which forms their border on the east side of Ireland. Located about 550 m (1/3 mi) south of the old quay at Moville, on the northwest side of the lough. Accessible only by boat, but there is an excellent view from the Moville waterfront. Site open, tower closed. Owner/operator: Londonderry Port and Harbour Commissioners. Site manager: Loughs Agency. ARLHS IRE-106; Admiralty A6096; NGA 7092.

Information available on lost lighthouses:

  •  

Notable faux lighthouses:

  •  

Adjoining pages: North: Northern Ireland | South: Southwestern Ireland

Return to the Lighthouse Directory index | Ratings key

Posted December 2004. Checked and revised October 4, 2014. Lighthouses: 40. Site copyright 2014 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.