A Great Irish Light

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You have to admire the people who first inhabited this Rock, it cannot ever have been easy. You have to admire the people who first thought of building a Lighthouse here, what a feat of engineering. Of course we are on Skellig Michael, and I have not even mentioned Star Wars!

Photographer: Thomas H. Mason

Collection: Mason Photographic Collection

Date: Catalogue range c.1890-1910

NLI Ref: M18/19/6

You can also view this image, and many thousands of others, on the NLI’s catalogue at catalogue.nli.ie

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Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 7988
thomasholmesmason thomasmayne thomashmasonsonslimited lanternslides nationallibraryofireland skelligmichael kerry starwars lighthouse irishlights monks monastery cokerry skellig light sceilgmhichíl sceilg greatskellig commissionersofirishlights

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    Oretani Wildlife (Mike Grimes)

    • 16/Nov/2018 08:57:38

    As a tour guide on the Skelligs in the early '90s I used to love climbing over the wall into the lighthouse and exploring. It was a fabulous place to live I am sure, although remote. Whenever Richard Foran, one of the ex-keepers, would come out to do maintenance a visit to the light was a must, not only to climb up the tower but to hear Richards stories of times gone by over a mug of tea, as must have happened many a time in that house. They were the best two summers of my life working on the rock, 3 weeks on and 1 off with no electricity, no running water, a VHF for communication. It would appear, though, that the Star Wars attraction has overcome the real meaning of visiting the rock, which is to experience what it must have been like for the monks many years ago and the keepers in more modern times to live there.

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 16/Nov/2018 08:59:57

    I watched a fantastic documentary series called Great Lighthouses of Ireland recently. Here is a promotional video which is really worth a look. Great Lighthouses of Ireland | RTÉ One

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    Carol Maddock

    • 16/Nov/2018 09:05:05

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikeegee] How lucky were you, Mike?! (even with the no lecky/no water)

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    Wendy:

    • 16/Nov/2018 09:37:53

    I second the recommendation of the recent RTE series!

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 16/Nov/2018 09:42:09

    Fantastic stuff! This history - www.irishlights.ie/tourism/our-lighthouses/skelligs-rock.... - says "... The dwellings were semi-detached (one house for the Principal Keeper and one for the Assistant) the lower was two-storey, the upper single. Each had attic rooms. The pitched roof of the lower house was flattened circa 1910. Each house had its own cast iron porch and all four are still in situ. ..." The photo on page 38 (see sliding thingy) shows the house with a pitched roof and dated "June 1908" - catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000284024#page/38/mode/1up So after June 1908 at least ?

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 16/Nov/2018 09:49:18

    Flickr is sometimes helpful - the rebuilt tower (1962) in 2016 via [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/] [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/32312934206/]

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 16/Nov/2018 09:52:35

    I have just noticed our segue from Fastnet to Skellig!! Virtual sticky bun for self :)

  • profile

    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 16/Nov/2018 09:58:02

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland] Virtual sticky rock cake?! From almost the same viewpoint via the lighthouse history link above - www.irishlights.ie/media/16362/Skelligs-2-_MainImage.jpg

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    DannyM8

    • 16/Nov/2018 10:50:00

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/] It was great Wendy.

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 16/Nov/2018 12:05:41

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia] You are right, I will take the Rock Bun and I will send the Sticky bun to you

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 16/Nov/2018 20:19:47

    More from the history website -

    What is not widely known is that George Bernard Shaw landed on Skellig Michael on 17th September 1910 [about the time of this photo?]. He was very impressed by the way he was rowed out and back by the two rocks, and by the Keeper who only asked for newspapers and literature to be sent out to him - "But for the magic that takes you out, far out of this time and this world, there is Skellig Michael ten miles off Kerry coast, shooting straight up seven hundred feet sheer out of the Atlantic. Whoever has not stood in the graveyard and their beehive oratory does not know Ireland through and through."