Inisheer Lighthouse, also known as Inis Oírr or Fardurris Point Lighthouse, is an active 19th century lighthouse located on the island of Inisheer, the smallest of the Aran Islands, in County Galway. It was built in 1857 by Daniel Crowe & Sons of Dublin, following the design of George Halpin Junior, who was the engineer-in-chief of the Commissioners of Irish Lights at the time. The lighthouse was commissioned on 1 December 1857, along with the Eeragh Lighthouse on one of the Brannock Islands to the north-west of Inishmore, to replace the Inishmore Lighthouse that was deemed ineffective and poorly positioned.
The original lighthouse had a first order optic lamp that emitted a fixed white light with a red sector signalling the Finnis Rock, a dangerous reef near the island. The optic lamp was supplied by Chance Brothers of Birmingham, a renowned glass manufacturer that also provided optics for other Irish lighthouses such as Fastnet Rock and Hook Head. The lighthouse tower is 34 metres (112 ft) high and has a focal height of 34 metres (112 ft) above sea level. The light has a range of 18 nautical miles (33 km; 21 mi) and a characteristic of one flash every 12 seconds.
The lighthouse underwent several changes and improvements over the years. In 1913, an incandescent lamp powered by paraffin was installed and its characteristic changed from a fixed light to one that flashed every ten seconds. In 1978, the lighthouse was automated and electrified, but retained the Chance optics from 1913. In 2014, the optic was replaced by an LED light, with a slightly reduced range. The lighthouse is now monitored and controlled from the Irish Lights headquarters in Dun Laoghaire.
The lighthouse is not open to the public, but it can be seen from various points on the island, especially from the pier and the beach. It is also possible to walk or cycle to the lighthouse along a scenic road that passes by some of the island’s attractions. The lighthouse offers a stunning view of the Atlantic Ocean and the surrounding islands, as well as a glimpse into the history and culture of the Aran Islands.
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