Inisheer Lighthouse


Inisheer Lighthouse on the Aran Islands with the Burren cliffs in the background.

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

Inisheer is a 34 metre high sea light on the southernmost extremity of the chain of Aran Islands and guides sea traffic into the southern entrance of Galway Bay between the islands and the cliffs of Moher on the mainland. Since 1818 a light had been established on Inishmore near Dun Eochla at a height of 400 feet near to the ancient fort of the same name. Despite being placed on the highest point of the island, it was of little practical use because of frequent low cloud and mist and because as a mid-islands compromise it didn’t cover either the North or South Sounds adequately. As an aside, it’s interesting that the fort and lighthouse gets their names from the nearby village of Eochaill, which from the Irish translates as “yew wood.” It’s been a long time since a wood of any sort was seen on the Aran islands.

By the mid 1800’s the calls from the Galway Harbour Commissioners could no longer be ignored and plans were made to establish both Eeragh lighthouse on the north of the island chain and Inisheer to the south.

By late 1853, the two lighthouses, constructed from the local crystalline limestone, were at second floor level and the adjoining dwellings were near complete.

Four years later, in December of 1857, Inisheer with a first order fixed white light and a red sector over Finnis rock to the east was ready to debut and at the same time the old tower on Inis Mór was discontinued.

In 1978 Inisheer was converted to unwatched electric with a standby lantern on the main lantern balcony in case of electric failure. A new LED array was installed in 2014. There is a monitoring radio link between the station and the attendant’s house 2 km away.

Location:    53°02.797′ North, 09°31.613′ West.

Elevation:   34 m

Character:  Iso WR 12s

Range:        W: 37 km, R: 30 km

A Note from the Artist

Inisheer lighthouse sits on the southern coast of the island, not far from the wreck of the Plassey, familiar to millions of fans of Father Ted. Here, you’re staring across to the tourists on the Cliffs of Moher, who are busy staring across at you. And no wonder!

It’s one of the most extraordinary and captivating landscapes I’ve ever come across.



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