A “new experience to take your breath away” is the promise from Great Lighthouses of Ireland, an EU funded tourism initiative which was launched in May of this year as a joint project by the Commissioners of Irish Lights and others.
Featuring twelve lighthouses in stunning coastal locations, the new promotion offers unforgettable experiences and creates a deep appreciation of the role of lighthouses, past and present, and in the maritime and seafaring story of the island of Ireland.
The lighthouses in this new promotion are St John’s Point, Co Donegal; Fanad Head, County Donegal; Rathlin West Light Seabird Centre , County Antrim; Black Head, County Antrim; St. John’s Point, County Down; Wicklow Head, County Wicklow; Hook, County Wexford; Ballycotton, County Cork; Galley Head, County Cork; Valentia Island, County Kerry; Loop Head, County Clare; and Clare Island, County Mayo.
In announcing the tourism promotion to an audience of two hundred people at the Irish Lights Head Office in Dun Laoghaire, it was stated, “Our island’s maritime heritage is a source of pride to us all. This initiative allows us to celebrate and share this with our visitors and with each other. The Great Lighthouses of Ireland is a unique and exciting collaboration between many people and organizations, each with different and specialist skills, who have come together to create something exceptional.”
With a range of services from accommodations to visitor centers and guided tours, visitors from home and abroad will have the chance to explore the distinct experiences offered by the 12 lighthouses, each reflecting its own history and heritage, nature and environment, people and place, with aspects to appeal to people of all ages and interests.
Yvonne Shields, Chief Executive, Commissioner of Irish Lights, said: “Irish lighthouses have been operating around the coast - north and south – for nearly 250 years. Advances in technology and automation means that we no longer need as much of the old physical infrastructure at lighthouses to operate our aids to navigation today. So as part of a new strategy we are developing a range of new uses for our infrastructure and tourism as an obvious option for some of our lighthouses. This project celebrates and shares the history, tradition, and heritage of our organization as well as sustaining it for the future.”
The ambitious and imaginative cross-border project will include the preservation and conservation of Ireland’s important maritime and lighthouse heritage. Great Lighthouses of Ireland is based on a sustainable economic model of the re-invention of individual lighthouses as visitor attractions and unique self-catering accommodations that can contribute to local communities in terms of visitor spending and tourism employment.
Because of space limitations, we have only shown images of some of lighthouses included in the Great Lighthouses of Ireland.
For further information about Great Lighthouses of Ireland go to: www.greatlighthouses.com.
This story appeared in the
Jul/Aug 2015 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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