The Scattery Lighthouse was built to firstly lead vessels into “Scattery Roads”, a safe anchorage on the east side of Scattery Island that gave protection from the prevailing South West wind. Secondally to help guide the vessels on the safe channels to Limerick. Scattery Island had become since the mid 1800s the home and exit point of the pilot boats that landed on board the vessels and then guided them to Foynes and Limerick.
Construction of the first Lighthouse was sanctioned by the Board of Trade in London in 1866 and construction began the following spring. A house was built for the Lighthouse keeper and his family and stands today in perfect condition. The Lighthouse was a simple iron framework ,onto which a lantern was secured. However , the lighthouse was destroyed in a storm after just 6 months.
Another stone Lighthouse was built in its place, its lamp been lit for the first time on 1st December ,1872.Over the years different types of light and fuel were used, including acetylene and propane.The light was looked after by full time resident lighthouse keepers until 1933. It was then looked after by part-time Lighthouse keepers until 2002, when it was fully automated. Today the light is solar powered and is maintained by the Commissioners of Irish Lights.