Sunday, May 11, 2014

Galley Head, Cork

Calculating that I would arrive in Kinsale before the first tour began, I decided to use the time profitably to visit Galley Head lighthouse, as it was the only functioning lighthouse I hadn't managed to visit between the Suir and Crookhaven. The technical and historical stuff can be found on the CIL page here.

For some reason, the coordinates given on the CIL page seemed to want to bring me inland (which I sensed was probably wrong) so I rather crudely set my course to Point on the Map. Without GPS, you need to go to Clonakilty and take the road leading to Inchydoney Island, a lovely beach which we visited on a warm summer's day ten years ago. The road brings you along the shore of the estuary and then, when the road bends around to the right (as the sign for Inchydoney says go straight on) you follow the bend around to the right, past a beach, whose sand was on this day blown all over the road. About a mile up this road, there is a signpost pointing left to Galley Head. Follow this road. Unsurprisingly it slowly deteriorates until there are only a few bits of tarmac between the potholes.

Galley Head is one of the lighthouses on the recently launched lighthouse tourism initiative between CIL and the Department of Trade and Industry. It appears that the initiative hasn't kicked in yet because everything is done to try and keep the tourist away. Three hundred yards before the light, there are two signs warning that this is a private road and death by impaling is the usual punishment for transgressors. Then just before the CIL path up to the compound, which is locked by an iron gate, there is a parking space for one car with a big red No Parking sign on it. Cead mile failte!

The light was first exhibited here in 1878 after the usual dragging of heels by CIL. I love the story of the Sultan of Turkey on the CIL site. I visited on a day with Force 6 winds gusting up to Force 8 and the the seas were most dramatic.

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