Rathlin East Lighthouse


Rathlin East Lighthouse on the north Antrim 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

Rathlin East lighthouse is the location from which the world’s first commercial wireless telegraphy link was established by employees of Guglielmo Marconi, transmitting to Kenmara House in Ballycastle, County Antrim on 6 July 1898. Rathlin is the only inhabited offshore island of Northern Ireland, with a population of approximately 150 people, down from over a thousand in the late 19th century and it is the most northerly inhabited island off the coast of Ireland.

There are three lighthouses on the island; East, West and Rue Point. The eastern light was established in 1856. Originally the tower was unpainted. Then it was painted overall white with a red band below the balcony and finally in 1934, this band was changed to black. In1866, a fog signal was established at the light, which consisted of an 18 pounder gun that was fired every 20 minutes during fog conditions. Over the years the frequency of the detonation was increased to 15 minutes, then 8 minutes. After the First World War, the fog gun was replaced by an explosive fog signal consisting of a double tonite explosion every 5 minutes. By the mid sixties, the fog signal had escalated to an explosive, accompanied by a brilliant flash of light when sounding during hours of darkness. The whole shebang was understandably discontinued in 1972 for security reasons along with other similar fog signals around the coast. The lower fixed light was discontinued in 1894 and at the same time the tower light was intensified. The lighthouse operated with a vaporised paraffin burner giving four flashes every 20 seconds until conversion to electricity in 1981. Fourteen years later in 1995 the station was automated and the keepers withdrawn.

Location:    55°18.111′ North, 06°10.313′ West.

Elevation:   74 m

Character:  Fl (4) W 20s. Exhibited throughout 24 hours

Range:        48 km



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