• Cyril McAree

Great Lighthouses Of Ireland Shine A Light On Summer May Bank Holiday Festival


Great Lighthouses of Ireland invite you to kick off summer 2018 at the ‘Shine a Light on Summer’ Festival this May Bank Holiday weekend and to take part in a ‘Great Lighthouse, Great Fun’ photographic competition to capture the best of summer fun at one of their great lighthouses.

To get a glimpse of all the great summer fun you can have at the Great Lighthouses of Ireland, watch this short video.

Shine a Light on Summer Festival:

Shine A Light on Summer Festival is taking place from top to toe on the island of Ireland at five of our Great Lighthouses – at Fanad Head in the wilds of Donegal, at Hook the world’s oldest working lighthouse in Wexford, at the majestic Loop Head and on the islands of Rathlin in the north and Valentia in the south west.

Be blown away by what you’ll see, experience and discover at each site over the weekend. Meet fascinating lighthouse Storykeepers. Enjoy their tales of maritime marvels and nature’s wonder, of heroic feats and the lightkeeping life. Discover crafts and traditions of times past and learn about modern coastal technology too.

Find out more at: http://www.greatlighthouses.com/stories/shine-a-light-2018/

‘Great Lighthouse, Great Fun’ Photography Competition:

As part of our Shine A Light On Summer Festival, we are launching our ‘Great Lighthouse, Great Fun’ photography competition.

We invite you to take a photograph that best captures and expresses summer fun at one of our Great Lighthouses of Ireland and enter it into our ‘Great Lighthouse, Great Fun’ photography competition.

The competition winner will enjoy a fantastic personal Great Lighthouses of Ireland experience for four people, including:

  • A two-night stay at any of the Great Lighthouses of Ireland self-catering houses

  • A personal tour with our leading ‘storykeeper’ at any of our lighthouse attractions

  • A unique opportunity to meet the Irish Lights historian at Howth’s Baily Lighthouse for a chance to see and learn all about the history and heritage of Irish Lights

  • A chance to meet the Irish Lights team and learn more about how aids to navigation work today

This fantastic competition opens on Friday 4th May and closes on Wednesday 20th June 2018. To enter, simply post your photo on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #GreatLighthouseGreatFun.

For full details and the competition terms and conditions, see: http://www.greatlighthouses/com/stories/great-lighthouse-great-fun-photography- competition/

Great Lighthouses of Ireland Chairperson, Bobby Kerr, will announce the lucky winner during the Seafest on Saturday 30th June 2018. Launching the festival and competition, Bobby said: “This is a great way to kick off what I expect will be a fantastic summer by inviting all to discover our amazing coast and our Great Lighthouses – so make sure to fine tune your photography skills and capture the best Summer Fun image at any of our 12 Great Lighthouses for the next two months. I look forward to meeting our winner!“

Looking forward to the festival and welcoming the competition Yvonne Shields, Chief Executive of Irish Lights said:“Irish Lights cares deeply about our history and heritage and is delighted to encourage our growing community of visitors to enjoy the breath-taking scenery, the stories and the wonder of these special places. We look forward to welcoming our ‘Great Lighthouse, Great Fun’ winning photographer and guests to Irish Lights, to see the work involved in ensuring safe navigation around the coast of Ireland and meet the team whose technical and engineering expertise contributes to the development of the maritime economy now and in the future.”

A partner of Leave No Trace Ireland, promoters of responsible outdoor recreation, (leavenotraceireland.org) Great Lighthouses of Ireland invites you all to come and experience these wonderful coastal spots and enjoy the country’s rich heritage this May.

What’s happening over the May Bank Holiday weekend?

Teach Solais Fhánada (Fanad Head Lighthouse):

Perched on the windswept eastern edge of County Donegal’s Fanad Peninsula and voted one of the most beautiful lighthouses in the world, at Teach Solais Fhánada visitors can enjoy a lively day of events inspired by maritime life and the relationship between the lighthouse and the local community. On Saturday 5th May, enjoy exciting comhrá, ceol agus damhsa with the Fanad Gaeltacht community, experience a guided coastal walk of the area from Ballywhoriskey to Baile Thiernáin and of course take a tour of the lighthouse tower to embrace that breathtaking view. There’s also plenty of opportunity to learn something new with craft workshops for adults and children such as basket and hemp rope making, astrology talks and even seaweed cookery demonstrations and tastings too.

Valentia Island Lighthouse:

In County Kerry, there’s plenty happening on Valentia Island area to celebrate the historic lighthouse at Cromwell Point. Here you can celebrate life under the infamous dark skies and hear tales of war and conquest long before Star Wars! On Sunday 6th May visitors can enjoy a sea synergy workshop and learn all about life beneath the lighthouse, while the RNLI life boat and sea rescue helicopter will be performing manoeuvres around the lighthouse for all to see. After all the fun, you can indulge in the barbecue and enjoy some live trad music too.

Loop Head Lighthouse:

Standing firm on Loop Head Peninsula in County Clare for many centuries, this May Bank Holiday the iconic west coast lighthouse will host plenty of fantastic fun. Enjoy family activities, lighthouse tours, live music all weekend and a local food and craft showcase, in an area of stunning scenery, this is a great chance to learn all about the area’s marine heritage too.

Hook Lighthouse:

In beautiful County Wexford, Hook Lighthouse, the world’s oldest, intact working lighthouse which was recently voted Ireland’s Hidden Gem 2018 by Independent readers, will be celebrating all things nautical.

On Saturday 5th May kick off the family fun by joining 500 walkers in a local fundraiser to Hike to the Hook. Pirate fun, music and circus style attractions will also take place throughout the day. The coastguard and RNLI will be on-site too, if you’re looking to learn more about safety at sea and maritime life.

Sunday 6th May will see fascinating talks at the on-site marquee, cookery demonstrations and for the truly daring, Medieval combat school and games courtesy of Montague Heritage Services.

On Monday 7th May visitors can enjoy more captivating marquee talks, Medieval demonstrations and pirate fun, as well as a nature walk led by renowned naturalist Jim Hurley. Round it all off with a tasty barbecue, arts and crafts and some games on the lawn too.

Rathlin West Light:

In County Antrim our Northern Ireland partners (Royal Society for Protection of Birds) at Rathlin West Light Seabird Centre will also be taking part in the festival fun.

Enjoy a host of lively events across the whole weekend, from craft activities like making a giant lighthouse from recycled materials to face painting fun. Rainbow the puffin will also be there to meet and greet visitors over the weekend.

With an ‘upside-down’ lighthouse to explore, the centre’s 125 resident seabirds to meet, not to mention the tens of thousands of visiting birds like kittiwakes and razorbills nesting around the cliffs too, an unforgettable trip is on the cards.

Great Lighthouses of Ireland is an exciting collaboration between many private and public organisations in coastal communities, led and supported by Irish Lights.

For event details and information about and booking Great Lighthouses of Ireland see:

Website: www.greatlighthouses.com/shine-a-light

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