Blacksod Lighthouse


Blacksod Lighthouse on the beautiful Mullet Peninsula which graces County Mayo’s western coast.

A4 (210 x 297mm) : 250g/m² archival art paper

A3 (297 x 420mm) : 250g/m² archival art paper

Artist: Roger O’Reilly

The artist signs each poster.

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A Bit of History

Blacksod Lighthouse is situated at the southern end of the Mullet Peninsula, Erris, County Mayo.

The lighthouse was built in 1864 on land leased from and with granite blocks supplied by the local Reverend Palmer who owned and administered the nearby quarry. The Reverend operated with a sharp eye for profit unexpected in a man of the cloth and indeed himself, his heirs and the Commissioners would have numerous disputes over money, property access and land until Irish Lights eventually bought out the property in 1948.

The keeper’s house is of an unusual design, being a two storey square unpainted building, with only a small conical lantern section positioned on top of it, It’s set in spectacular surroundings, with the sheer cliffs of Achill Island rising to the south.

The light was first exhibited in June, 1866 and it was intended that the light on Blacksod in conjunction with Black Rock, lit two years before, would make Blacksod Bay a safe anchorage. The Spanish Armada commander, Martin de Berthendona aboard his galleon, La Sancta Maria Rata Encoronda would certainly have appreciated it when adrift in a storm, he ran aground under Fahy castle almost three centuries earlier.

During the Second World War and in the weeks approaching D-Day, the Allied meteorologists were in dispute over what exactly the weather would be like for the week of the proposed landing. The Americans thought it would be fine, the British thought it would be rotten. The decoded German forecast agreed with the British and Rommel left the front on a train to Berlin. The weather forecast that the Allies eventually settled on was the one supplied by Ted Sweeney at Blacksod which convinced General Dwight D Eisenhower to delay the D-Day invasion for 24 hours – a decision which averted a military catastrophe. It was a fateful call, and one that ensured that this small lighthouse on Ireland’s Atlantic coast played it’s own small part in the seismic events playing out on the European mainland!

The light was automated in 1999. Although the lighthouse is easily accessible being beside Blacksod Pier, it is not open to the general public.

Location:    54°05.923′ North, 10°03.628′ West.

Elevation:   13m

Character:  Fl (2) WR 7.5s

Range:        W: 23 km, R: 17 km

A Note from the Artist

One of the more easily accessible lighthouses, Blacksod is an unusual structure in that it’s just the keepers house with a small conical lantern section positioned on top of it. I completed the sketches of this on a warm sunny day with the heat radiating off the rocks, which I think comes across in the illustration.



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