arranmore Island Lighthouse Donegal Ireland
Relaxing at Aranmore Lighthouse

Inishtrahull is a rocky island which lies 10km north of Malin Head which is the northernmost point of the Irish mainland. Inishtrahull is an uninhabited island and the lighthouse there works in tandem with the light on Tory Island to form one of the two main landfall lights used for shipping from the Atlantic. The first lighthouse was established here on the 17th March 1813 while the existing structure began its lifespan on the 8th October 1958 with it becoming unmanned on the 30th April 1987.

Shrove lighthouse can be found on the beautiful shrove beach where the Lough Foyle joins the Atlantic. This shipping lane had been used to carry immigrants to America and the hazard caused by the rocky area surrounding it forced two lighthouses to be built at Dunagree Point in Shrove in 1837. Made of stone the east tower stood at 49 feet high while the west stood aloft at 74 feet which increased to 99 feet by 1870. Only the west tower remains operational and is now automatically controlled due to the advances of technology.


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Fanad Lighthouse sits a proud in the Fanad Head area of Donegal. It acts as the second most northerly point in Fanad and is known for its scenic views. The light itself is classified as a sea light which marks the entrance into Lough Swilly. It was first lit on March 17th 1817 and the interior of the lighthouse is something to behold with leaded, diamond shaped windows and a stunning spiral staircase are just some of the highlights of the inside. The lighthouse and the surrounding area was recently featured in a television advertisement by the Bank of Ireland and was chosen over every other lighthouse in Ireland as the location due to the beauty of the structure and surrounding area.

View Holiday Homes in Fanad

Dunree Lighthouse – The only lighthouse in the immediate vicinity of Lough Swilly was Fanad Head established on 17th March 1817, but in March 1871 the Duke of Abercorn, backed up numerous signatories in a memorial to the Commissioners, looked for better lighting in the Lough and suggested converting the two Martello towers at Macanish and Dunree. The Government later in the year said they had no intention of disposing of the towers. During 1872 Trinity House came over to investigate and they agreed that lights should be established at Dunree Head and on Buncrana Pier … read more

Tory Island lighthouse can be found to the far west of the Island. Designed by George Halpin the building of the structure started in 1828 and was finished in 1832 when the light was installed. It has kept up with modern technological advancements and is one of only three lighthouses in Ireland which has a Differential GPS (Global Positioning System) installed.

One of the lighthouses more interesting features is that the wall around the lighthouse includes stones which were taken from an ancient tomb which at one stage lay on the island.

Arranmore Island is the second largest island in Ireland and one in which Irish is the prevalent language although most of the 500 plus people who live there speak both English and Irish. It is a favoured destination for those who like to immerse themselves in Irish culture and is savoured by those who enjoy cliff walks and outdoor pursuits. The lighthouse was the first lighthouse built in the Donegal area and was manned up until 1976. It was first set up to deal with the Atlantic shipping lane and also acted as a World War 2 monitoring post.

Rathlin O’Birne Lighthouse – In January 1841 Corporation for Preserving and Improving the Port of Dublin, the statutory corporation responsible for lighthouses in Ireland, usually referred to as the Ballast Board received a memorial from the shipowners of Sligo urging the necessity to place a light on Raughley Bourne off the south west coast of Co. Donegal. The Board were in favour and approved a report from their Inspector of Works & Inspector of Lighthouses, George Halpin, that the light should be flashing so as not to be confused with other fixed lights already established .. read more

St. John’s Point lighthouse acts as a harbour light to guide from Donegal Bay leading to Killybegs Harbour from the entrance to Rotten Island. The waters around the lighthouse are very popular with divers due to being some of the clearest diving waters in Europe. The lighthouse itself was created on the insistence of merchants and traders of Killybegs in 1825, although it took until 1831 for the structure to be completed with light affixed.