Just a few hundred meters off Sorrento point on Dublin’s south coast sits Dalkey Island with its Martello tower, St Begnet’s church and a herd of wild goats. The three small islands to the north are Lamb Island, Clare Island and Maiden Rock and to the northeast the rocks and islands that comprise the Muglins.
Populated by seagulls, shags and cormorants, over the years these rocks have seen their share of shipwrecks and in 1873 following the loss of a over a dozen ships off the island, the slow wheels of indecision were set in motion. After a slew of recommendations and seven years of further shipwrecks, a stone conical tower, 9 meters in height was constructed as a day mark on the shoals. It was initially painted white and later the red band was added as an additional visual mark.
In the intervening period, the east pier lighthouse at Dún Laoghaire – or Kingstown as it was then known – had been raised up by 3.6 meters, illuminating the rocks at night and thus providing some paltry assistance to skippers trying to navigate the rocks. Eventually in June 1906 a light was finally established on the beacon using oil gas as its fuel. In 1997 the Muglins Lighthouse was converted to solar powered electric light and its range was increased to 20 kilometres.
Location: 53°16.524′ North, 06°04.579′ West.
Elevation: 14 metres
Character: Fl R 5 s
Range: 20 km
The stretches of water about the Muglins and its neighbouring islands are perfect for sea kayaking. Most of my paddling has been done on winter rivers. Off shore, with the swell beneath you, the pace is usually a little less frenetic and with Dalkey Island and its Martello tower nearby, the opportunity to do a little exploring is hard to resist.
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