In 1958, plans were afoot to refurbish Clare island Lighthouse as the main light guiding vessels on the northerly approach to Clew Bay. It had never been entirely satisfactory as it sat high on the northern cliffs of the island and was frequently obscured by low cloud or fog. Achillbeg had been considered as a more suitable location as far back as 1871 and now a decision was made to proceed with a new lighthouse and in the process bring Clare Island’s tenure to an end.
In 1963 a right of way was secured to the chosen site and work proceeded. In this early stage of Ireland’s modernization and before helicopter transportation had become the precision operation it is today, getting materials and transportation onto the small uninhabited island to the south of Achill itself, required a little bit of graft and imagination. Most of the materials were landed by a service tender, including a drove of donkeys to cart materials about the island. A special raft was also constructed to bring a tractor to shore. Work proceeded apace and the square concrete structure was completed with a 9 metre high tower or murette surmounted by the lantern. Electricity supplied the power for the light.
The Lighthouse was established on the 28th September 1965, and at the same time Clare Island’s 159 years of service came to an end.
Location: 53°51.509′ North, 09°56.835′ West.
Elevation: 56 m
Character: Fl WR 5s
Range: W: 30 km, R (intensified) 34 km, Red 20 km
Here I’ve illustrated it sparkling in the summer sunshine, but this main guiding light for vessels on the northerly approach to Clew Bay sees no shortage of stormy weather.
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