Tarbert Lighthouse


Tarbert Lighthouse at the seaward end of the Shannon estuary in County Kerry.

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

The name Tarbert, or in Irish Tairbeart, has its origins in an Old Norse term meaning “draw-boat” or portage. The town is situated in the north of County Kerry, with woodland to the south and the Shannon estuary to the north.

The lighthouse was built on a tidal rock and was first exhibited in February of 1834. It was initially operated by the Commissioners of Irish Lights and originally stood aloof from the shoreline until in 1841, a footbridge was built connecting it to the riverbank.

This local landmark acts as a harbour light, guiding vessels passing up and down the Shannon estuary. The tower stands 22 metres high and contains four floors excluding that of the lantern and gallery.

Long since demolished, there were also keepers houses built ashore of the light

The light shows white for 22 kilometres, with a small red sector over Bowline Rock, to the east. Originally the lantern shone a fixed light, although this was altered to a character of 2 seconds of light and 2 seconds of darkness in 1905. The landward facing panes of the lantern housing are blacked out to stop the light spilling onto land and mounted just bellow the lantern is a rotating radar antenna. The tower cannot be seen from the land, as it is located in the lee of the electricity generating station – the chimneys of which, dwarf the lighthouse, but it can be viewed distantly from Killimer on the opposite side of the Shannon and especially from the ro-ro ferry which plies the river crossing between the two towns.

Location:    52 35.5226 North, 9 21.8226 West.

Elevation:   18m

Character:  Quick, 1s

Range:        W: 26km, R:19 km

A Note from the Artist

A difficult lighthouse to get to as it’s hidden behind a power station, but from time to time it’s opened to the public. Get there early though as there are always more people than places.



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