Digest>Archives> Nov/Dec 2013

Eagle Island Light Decapitated


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Ireland’s Eagle Island Lighthouse in 2012.

The Commissioner of Irish Lights recently ordered the decapitation of the Eagle Island Lighthouse. It was reported that the dome and lantern will now be replaced by a new steel cap with a light mounted on the top. Previously the lighthouse had a rotating optic and will now have a flashing beacon.

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Ireland’s Eagle Island Lighthouse in 2013.

Apparently the Commissioner of Irish Lights was not interested in saving the historical integrity of Eagle Island Lighthouse, which is unusual in a time when they are promoting many of their lighthouses as tourist attractions.

Although this lighthouse, which is on a small island at the north end of the Mullet Peninsula in Erris off the northwest County May Atlantic Ocean coast of Ireland, is often wave swept, it could be the perfect destination for the intrepid visitor who would love to spend the night or even a week or more at a time, or even for a discerning caretaker. Lighthouse keepers staffed the station until March 31, 1988, when it was automated.

From a distance, with its 132-foot storm wall, the Eagle Island Light Station resembles an old fortress. At the far right end of the wall can be seen the remains of the decapitated former Eagle Island West Lighthouse that was discontinued in 1895. Now the island will have two decapitated lighthouses that will eventually fall into total ruin.

Both photos are by photographer John Eagle who also offers tours of the lighthouses of Ireland and has published books about them. To learn more, go to www.JohnEaglePhoto.com.

This story appeared in the Nov/Dec 2013 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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