Fanad Lighthouse is set to feature in a dramatic new RTE television series.
Great Lighthouses of Ireland tells the story of Ireland’s lighthouses and their continuing importance to the country’s survival.
For all their romance and mystery, lighthouses remain a vital part of Ireland’s maritime infrastructure.
This new four-part series explains our dependence on the sea, our battle with the elements, and the engineering, history, science and above all the people, behind these extraordinary buildings, and the pivotal role they have played in historic events.
Fanad Lighthouse is set to feature in the fourth of the four-programme series.
Ireland is a maritime nation – as a trading nation with an open economy it depends almost entirely on sea-going transport for the import and export of goods.
Each year, millions of people also arrive and leave on a ship. Almost everyone has had some experience of the sea: a trip to the seaside, or a trip on a ferry. Yet despite this, we look inland and our maritime history is generally forgotten.
Lighthouse keepers have been a part of Ireland’s maritime history for centuries, but in 1997 the automation programme was completed, and the job of lighthouse keeper ceased to exist. But lighthouses remain an important “aid to navigation”, alongside buoys, automatic identification systems (similar to transponders in aeroplanes), Racon, Beacons and DGPS stations, all managed by Irish Lights from its base in Dun Laoghaire.
The series makes an important contribution to Ireland’s vernacular heritage as the stories are told by a diverse group of people who know the sea intimately – captains and crew of cargo ships and ferries, weather forecasters, scientists, historians, and, most crucially of all, the lighthouse keepers and attendants who look after and maintain these amazing buildings.
Yvonne Shields O’Connor, Chief Executive, Irish Lights: “Irish Lights is delighted to collaborate with RTE on this documentary which showcases the previously untold stories of lighthouses in Ireland, their keepers and the vital role they have played in maritime safety in this country over the past 200 years.
“This TV series is a wonderful testament to our organisation’s rich heritage and the dedicated people who have supported Irish Lights in its mission to ensure safe navigation at sea. Today Irish Lights continues to be at the forefront of maritime safety, using advances in technology and engineering to deliver reliable and wide ranging services to support a diverse and important maritime industry around the coast north and south.”