Inishtrahull Island Lighthouse, County Donegal


Inishtrahull Island Lighthouse, County Donegal; the most northerly of Ireland’s lighthouses

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

Inishtrahull or ‘Inis Trá Thuathail’ as used by speakers of Donegal Irish, roughly means ‘Island with the beach on the opposite side’ Usually the preferred landing place on an island faces the mainland, but on Inishtrahull, the opposite is the case.

The island about 10 kilometres north of Malin Head, hosts the most northerly of Ireland’s lighthouses and together with Tory Island they form the two main landfall lights for shipping from the Atlantic rounding the north coast of Ireland, alongside navigation to local shipping. The island had a resident community until 1929 and the lighthouse was manned until 1987. Today it is uninhabited and has been designated a protected area due to its wildlife.

On the eastern side of the island are the ruins of the old lighthouse, the first to be built to the designs of George Halpin by the Ballast Board as far back as 1813. Commissioned largely at the behest of the Royal Navy who used Lough Foyle as their North Atlantic base, the light was a revolving unit until the 1860’s when it was replaced by a first order dioptric and a new lantern. Its character was one flash every two minutes and this was changed to one every minute in 1873 only to discover that this was identical to Skerryvore off the Scottish coast, and hurriedly changed back.

In 1900 after lengthy discussions a fog signal was built on the west end of Inishtrahull, which meant that the keepers had to go from one end of the island to the other during foggy weather. When in 1952, the Commissioners of Irish Lights were looking at replacing the fog signalling machinery and updating the lighthouse, they decided to build anew on the western end. The new re enforced concrete tower had the fog signal built into the tower above the light. It first exhibited in October 1958. The light was automated in march1987. In 2000, Inishtrahull became solar powered and its range reduced to 35 kilometres.

Location:    55°25.864′ North, 07°14.628′ West.

Elevation:   59 m

Character:  Fl (3) W 15s. Shown by day in poor visibility.

Range:         35 nautical miles

A Note from the Artist

Inishtrahull is our most northerly lighthouse and one of the most isolated. I wanted to get this across in the image so I concentrated mostly on the sea, with the lighthouse way in the distance, as if there were still quite a way to go in your boat!



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