Of Land & Sea


The Lightkeepers' Tale

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On March 24, 1997, Eugene O’Sullivan carried out the final manned watch in the Baily Lighthouse at Howth head. Thus, a door was closed on a way of life that had existed for hundreds of lightkeepers and their families, stretching back over 200 years.

The role of the lightkeeper, so vital to the safe passage of mariners in years gone by, has largely been replaced by new aids to navigation. While the lights along the Irish coast still cast their beam across the ocean, the lightkeepers themselves have moved on.

What remains, however, is the rich legacy of their service as well as the abundant colourful stories and folklore from life on the rock.

Some of these tales have been gathered here to give a picture of a way of life that now belongs to the past.

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