All are welcome to the launch of Lighthouses of Ireland: An Illustrated Guide to the Sentinels that Guard our Coastline by Roger O'Reilly. Join us in Commissioners of Irish Lights Headquarters, Harbour Road, Dún Laoghaire, Co. Dublin at 6.00pm with guest speaker Bobby Kerr, Chair of Great Lighthouses of Ireland and broadcaster.
Since ancient times, long before GPS, radio transmission or radar, lighthouses have served as beacons helping ships to navigate Ireland’s sometimes treacherous waters. The earliest lights were simply bonfires built on hillsides; in the fifth century, St Dúbhan established a brazier of burning wood or turf on the headland of Hy Kinsellagh (now known as Hook Head). Today, despite technological advances, these coastal icons continue to serve as crucial navigational aids for the maritime traffic of our island nation, from the smallest leisure crafts to cargo ships and trawlers.
As well as representing a unique part of our maritime history and built heritage, lighthouses are a powerful symbol of strength and resilience in times of darkness. This evokes an irresistible fascination with them in many people. Artist Roger O’Reilly grew up near the Boyne Estuary lighthouse in County Meath and ever since has associated a sense of peace and reassurance with the warm glow of lighthouse beacons. He has spent two years criss-crossing the country to draw dramatic portraits of these sentinels of our shores. Gathered in this extraordinary collection, each beloved landmark is accompanied by a wealth of practical and insightful information: history, location, elevation, signal and range.