In a land whose roots are so entrenched by mythical legends of the past, it is no surprise that Irelandís lighthouses, located in some of the most unspoilt and picturesque places, are surrounded by tales of danger, heroism, romance and mystery.
The oldest lighthouse in the British Isles, HOOKHEAD LIGHTOUSE was formerly operated by an ancient order of monks. This tower stands at the entrance to Waterford Harbour in Country Wexford.
LIGHTSHIPS were simply boats that acted as lighthouses. They were manned by daring keepers who had to endure terrible living conditions and unrelenting seas. These boats had no power to move and so for the men on board they were helpless against the power of the Sea.
The BALLYCOTTON lighthouse in County Cork sits in a picturesque village and looks out across the wide and tranquil inlet of Ballycotton Bay. This lighthouse was a favourite among the keepers.
FASTNET in County Cork is probably the kind of all lighthouses. Beautiful and majestic, it is one of the last centuryís greatest engineering achievements. This sentinel of the sea was called íThe Teardrop of Irelandí during the days of emigration because for many it would be their last sight of Ireland.
Despite the valiant attempts of designers and engineers, the power of the sea is a force that cannot be beaten, only contained. The lighthouses of BULL and CALF ROCK are examples of when the power of the sea proved too strong.
The SKELLIG ISLANDS are a pair of rocky islands that look as though they are part of another world. These rocky islands were occupied by an order of ancient monks who built a monastery on the edge of the cliffs hundreds of feet above the treacherous sea.
Mythology and superstitions haunt the mysterious TORY island. Set in the northwest corner of Ireland this is a place where ancient traditions and customs still exist. One of these is The Cursing Stones. The islanders used these stones to place curses on unwelcome visitors and were used to terrible effect in 1884.
The MAIDENS is a pair of lighthouses that is home to the romantic story of the Maiden lovers. This is a Romeo and Juliet style love story between the children of the two lighthouse keepers who prevented the children from seeing each other and how their love prevailed.
ROCHES POINT is positioned beyond Cork Harbour, on the south coast of Ireland. The tranquil beauty of this lighthouse is deceiving. The waters here are very dangerous indeed, many ships have crashed on the rocks and sank in the pretty harbour.
BAILY has guided ships into the port of Dublin in the past 300 years. This is also the place that all new lighthouse keepers were trained. This is also the place that all new lighthouse keepers were trained. The Baily lighthouse was the last to be automated, ending the era of manned lighthouses in Ireland.