Kilcredaun Lighthouse.

Kilcreadaun Lighthouse
Robert Brown
View from Kilcreadaun Lighthouse west towards Reha Hill and Kilclougher Head
Robert Brown
Stephen Rowan Kilcreadaun Lighthouse
Robert Brown
View from Kilcreadaun Lighthouse north towards Rhinvella Bay
Robert Brown
Kilcredaun Lighthouse

Location.

Located about 2 miles south of Carrigaholt village ,the 13m lighthouse, whose lens had a range of 15 nautical miles , first lent light to the estuary on 1st September ,1824 and cost £8,000 to build.It was decommissioned in 2011 due to the improvements in GPS technology.

It is a single bay, two-stage round stone tower with lantern and gallery attached to one-story keeper’s house. It is a miniature version of Loop Head Lighthouse and was designed by the same architect George Halpin and can be seen when out on the Dolphinwatch. Before the lighthouse was electrified in 1979, the lens was gas operated. The gas was manufactured on site in a small red building next to the lighthouse. They made gas from carbide and water and the waste (white sludge) was used to white wash all the houses in the area. After 1979 the lighthouse became a monitoring station operated from Dun Laoighre with the attendants workload significantly reduced. Although a lighthouse has been located at Loop Head since 1700s, Kilcredaun Lighthouse as it stands is older than the current Loop Head lighthouse , as the original was demolished in the 1800s.Loop Head lighthouse is the more famous however Kilcredaun lighthouse has the best views , the former looks out at the Wild Atlantic whereas at Kilcredaun you have beautiful views of the Kerry mountains and estuary and of course the iconic Rehy Hill (124m high ).

Commissioners of Irish Lights.

Managed by the Commissioners of Irish Lights , full time lighthouse keepers were employed in Kilcredaun until 1929 when it became unwatched which is the equivalent of unmanned. Stephen Rowan has been employed as a part time attendant since 1988, prior to that his father Jimmy filled the same role for 45 years. Stephen still lives next door and misses its familiar flicker.Going back to Stephen’s father’s time , the Rowans have always welcomed visitors be they locals or tourists. A visitor’s book still lies in what is called the battery room of the lighthouse and has been recording names since 1965. The original book ,with names visitors since 1824 , is in the Bailey Lighthouse museum in Dun Laoighre.  Stephen remembers an old man at Lighthouse called Michael Hough, he was known as ‘Hockey ‘   He used always say “ah sure, there’s only a while in everything”. Only lasted 187 years 1824-2011. T’was true for him says Stephen. The only time it was dark, in its 187 years,  was during the 2nd World War. The Commissioners of Irish Lights have not yet progressed with their plans to sell the lighthouse and the house in which Stephen lives.

 

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