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. The Commissioners of Irish Lights wanted to close down the Scattery Lighthouse as they had done at Kilcreadaun Lighthouse as no need for them with modern GPS systems however the Limerick Harbour Board agreed to fund its survival as important for the estuary traffic and it was fully automated. Today the light is solar powered and is maintained by Commissioners of Irish Lights.
The Scattery Island Lighthouse Lamp
This original lamp was commissioned by the Board of Trade in
London who sanctioned the construction of the lighthouse in 1866.
The lamp was manufactured in Paris in 1856 and was used in the
lighthouse for 130 years. It was powered by oil until the lighthouse
was converted to gas in 1933. During its lifetime it guided hundreds of
boats and ships along the Shannon Estuary. The Scattery Lamp had
a ten mile range and was on 24 hours a day, as gas was not suited to
being turned on and off.
On Monday 16th September 2002, Scattery Island lighthouse was
converted to solar powered light. The Commissioners of Irish Lights
donated the lamp to the Scattery Island Trust, who in turn placed the
lamp under the care of the OPW Scattery Island Visitor Centre, to be