Thursday, 20 April 2017

Blackhead Lighthouse, County Clare, Ireland

Like a homesick dalek gazing off to sea, county Clare's Blackhead lighthouse perches atop the otherworldly surface of the Burren's coastline. It however has no desire for world domination, instead contenting itself by guiding wayward ships to shore.
The Burren or "the stoney district" from the Gaelic, forms the northern part of County Clare, bounded by the south shore of Galway Bay to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west. "Not a tree whereon to hang a man; no water in which to drown him; no soil in which to bury him." was the description of the district by one of Cromwell’s generals.
The establishment of the light was protracted only coming into full operation in 1936.
By 1939 as transatlantic shipping ceased coming into Galway bay, the maintenance of the light became a burden on the Galway harbour commissioners and they approached Irish Lights in April 1952 and enquired if they would consider contributing 50% of any increase granted and assist towards the maintenance of Blackhead out of the General Lighthouse Fund. Reluctantly, they said they were seriously considering discontinuing its function. In April 1955 Irish Lights did so and continue to operate Blackhead. On 18 February 2002 the gas light was change to a solar powered light.

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