Stroove Lighthouse, Inishowen, County Donegal


Stroove lighthouse on the Inishowen peninsula in Co Donegal on Ireland’s Northwest

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

With the increase in maritime traffic coming to Derry port in the early 1800’s, the Chamber of Commerce and the Derry Ballast board were anxious to have a light established to assist vessels negotiating the Tuns Bank, a spit of sand, north east of Magilligan point on the Derry shore and a clear danger to shipping. The preferred position was on the Donegal shore at the entrance to Lough Foyle and our old friend, George Halpin was set the task of surveying the approaches and making recommendations. His advice was that two lights be established and with sanction approved, the work began on the two towers and associated dwellings. When built, the cut stone lighthouses, bearing East and West stood 50 metres apart with each tower at 15 metres high. They were both painted white and stood 20 metres above high water.

The lights, both established in December 1837, unfortunately had been constructed without any distinctive character and were easily confused with each other. Various remedies were tried such as introducing lights at midway and using a red sector on the West light, but even the fact that the two towers were of the same height doomed any short term fix. The amount of correspondence between all the interested parties could have built a third tower and during over 100 years of trial and mostly error there was little illumination when it came to providing a long term solution. The issue was eventually forced with the arrival of electricity in the 1950’s when it was decided to replace the rear acetylene light with an electric light in a catadioptric lens with a red sector over the Tuns Bank. At the same time, the front light would be abandoned and it’s lantern removed. The station was automated in September 1979 and in May 2007 the fog signal was permanently disestablished. The light continues to be exhibited in conditions of poor visibility during daylight, alongside the usual hours of darkness.

Location:     55°13.566′ North, 06°55.749′ West.

Elevation:    29 m

Character:   Fl(2) WRG 10s.

Range:         W:33 km. R: 26 km. G:30 km

A Note from the Artist

Stroove (or Inishowen) lighthouse reminds me a little of those New England lighthouses on the eastern seaboard of the US. Perhaps it’s the squared-off sides or the marram grass creeping up the bank, but it’s a source of pride all who live nearby. I can certainly see why.



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