Distant view of the lighthouse
|Tower shape:|| cylindrical tower|
with balcony and lantern
|Tower marking:||white tower|
|Light:||Fl (3) W 15s|
|Range:||19 nautical miles|
|Light source:||solar power|
|Built 1813 (first)|
|First lit:||1958 (current)|
|Owned by:||Commissioners of Irish Lights|
Inishtrahull Lighthouse stands on the little island of Inishtrahull, north of Malin Head, on the northernmost coast of County Donegal. The island is Donegal's and Ireland's northernmost inhabitable isle, and the lighthouse is the northernmost Irish lighthouse. It is owned and run by the Commissioners of Irish Lights.
Inishtrahull and the lighthouse on Tory Island form the two main landfall lights for shipping from the Atlantic rounding the north coast of Ireland, and navigation to local shipping. It therefore guides ships past the rocks of Malin Head and into the narrow mouth of the sea-lough, and to the port of Londonderry.
Work on the first lighthouse, situated at the east end of the island began in 1812, primarily to guide ships of the Royal Navy, which had begun to use Lough Foyle.
Designs for the lighthouse where drawn up by a George Halpin, a Senior Inspector of Lighthouses. Acting on behalf of the Corporation for Preserving and Improving the Port of Dublin.
The first light was established on the 17 March 1813. The height of the tower was approximately 42 feet. Later a dioptric apparatus was installed in the tower and came into operation on 29 September 1864.
At the start of the 20th century it was decided that a fog signal was required in the area of Malin Head and that it would be constructed at the west end of the island. This came into operation in 1905, separate from the lighthouse.
In 1952 the Commissioners of Irish Lights decided to update the fog signal and the lighthouse, by building a new lighthouse beside the fog signal station at the west end of the island. The the lighthouse at the east end of the island was discontinued. The new lighthouse was completed and began service on the 8 October 1958. It is 75 feet tall to the balcony, and has a lantern of 19 feet tall.
In 1987, the 1958 optic had to be replaced to comply with the recommendations of the International Association of Lighthouse Authorities for automation. Optic replacement and automation where completed in March of that year. The station was then converted to solar power on the 20 September 2000.
The station became unmanned at 1200 hours on the 30 April 1987. The fog signal was discontinued the following day.
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