Loop Head lighthouse opens

Posted: 07/19/2011 in all marine news

Stephen Davis – 

The Loop Head Lighthouse in west Clare was officially opened to the public today for the first time in its history.

Clare County Council, has opened the doors to the 19th century building as part of a trial visitor scheme that will continue until the end of August.

Mayor of Clare Councillor Pat Hayes welcomed the opening of the lighthouse to members of the public, which he said would contribute greatly to the overall tourism experience in the wider west Clare area.

“The opening of this historic landmark to members of the public will help attract even greater numbers of people to the Loop Head Peninsula, which is not only one of the most scenic locations in Ireland but also is steeped in maritime heritage. Clare County Council looks forward to supporting the development of this wonderful, unique tourism asset”, he added.

According to Cillian Murphy, Chairman of Loop Head Tourism explained: “The enchanting Loop Head Lighthouse is located at the tip of the Loop Head Peninsula which is the furthest point west on the Clare coastline. The wild and rugged Atlantic coastline, contrasting sharply with the sheltered Shannon Estuary truly sets a breathtaking backdrop to this lighthouse. We look forward to welcoming tourists to the Light House for what will be a memorable experience for them.”

The existing tower style lighthouse was constructed in 1854 and was operated and maintained by a keeper who lived within the lighthouse compound. In January 1991, the lighthouse was converted to automatic operation and today is in the care of an attendant and is also monitored by the Commissioners of Irish Lights from a base in Dun Laoghaire.

Welcoming the initiative Ruairi Deane, Tourism Product Development Executive, Shannon Development said: “Shannon Development is delighted to have worked with Clare County Council and Loop Head Tourism to open Loop Head Lighthouse for visitors. We believe this is another major step in enhancing West Clare’s tourism product offering. Our work on the project is part of a range of initiatives that we have undertaken this year in West Clare which include new loop walks in Lissycasey and Kilkee, with more projects in the pipeline. We look forward to welcoming an increased number of visitors to the area.”

Ger Dollard, Director of Services, Clare County Council said the opening of the lighthouse to members of the public will help to further strengthen the tourism sector across County Clare.

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