Great Lighthouses of Ireland tells the story of Ireland’s lighthouses and their continuing importance to the country’s survival with spectacular scenes from Hook Head, Skelligs, Blacksod, Galley Head and Ballycotton with incredible stories from former lighthouse keepers.
Part 1: A Nation Surrounded
The Hood Head lighthouse: the oldest operating lighthouse in the world; Becoming a lighthouse keeper; Ireland’s dependence on the sea; Navigation from a ship’s bridge; A life of service; A vicious storm at Eagle Island in 1895; The power of the sea; Sister Mary’s first Communion; Life at the Ballycotton lighthouse.
Part 2: Feats of Engineering
The Calf and Bull Rock lighthouses; how mountainous seas destroyed the Calf Rock lighthouse and the construction of the lighthouse on Bull Rock; The Fastnet lighthouse: the iconic lighthouse designed by William Douglass; Building the Fastnet Lighthouse; Winching keepers on to rocks; The store of 1986; The Kish Lighthouse.
Part 3: Witnesses to History
The First World War; The sinking of the Lusitania; The D-Day Weather Report; Irish lighthouses and Met Éireann; Lightships and the Daunt Rock lightship rescue; Wrecks around Ireland’s coast; The creation of the Commissioners of Irish Lights in 1867; The IRA raid the Fastnet; The annual Commissioners’ tour of inspection; Europe’s most hazardous helicopter landing; The vital role of radio.
Part 4: A Bright Future
The advent of the helicopter and automation; The future of the Skelligs lighthouse; Controlling the lighthouses remotely; Preserving Irish lighthouses: the All-island Lighthouse Tourism Trail; The Irish Lights’ ship ILV Granuaile; Replacing halogen bulbs with LEDs; Lighthouses in the E-Nav era; Building of national importance.