The isle lies to the north-east of its neighbour, the misleadingly named Light House Island, where there is a bird observatory but no lighthouse, though there was one there from 1815 to 1884. The two islands are separated by a narrow channel. The largest island of the group, Copeland Island, is a short distance away to the south.
The Mew Island Lighthouse guards the southern end of the mouth of Belfast Lough, and marks the position of the dangerous isles and skerries of the Copeland Islands for ships sailing through the North Channel or into Belfast.
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