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 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 is the most northerly inhabited island off the coast of Ireland. There are three lighthouses on the island; East, West and Rue on the south coast. The eastern light was established in 1856. Originally the tower was unpainted. Then it was coloured overall white with a red band below the balcony. In 1934 for reasons I know not why, this was changed to black. In 1981 it was converted to electric and in 1995 it was automated and the keepers withdrawn from the station.