Friday, August 11, 2023

The Tuskar Rock lighthouse, Ashfield Cross

The Tuskar on its rock

According to this week's Indo. a replica of  the Tuskar Rock lighthouse is to be erected in the middle of the Ashfield Cross Roundabout by the year’s end. The brainchild of the Rosslare Municipal District (RMD), efforts to signpost what is the first roundabout visitors to the country encounter when they depart from Rosslare Europort have been ongoing since 2019.
Concerned at the boringness of the road leading out of Rosslare Europort, the RMD has sanctioned and planned the installation of the replica lighthouse roughly three miles from the port. As such, they are taking a leaf out of Arklow's book - further up the coast in the best county in Ireland - who, four years ago installed the lantern of the Automatic Lightfloat Skua on one of the motorway slip roads to the town.

The Skua lantern off Junction 20 (Arkla) on the M11

Now, bearing in mind that Rosslare say the lighthouse will be a replica rather than a miniature, I am assuming that the installation will feature a 34 meter high tower, complete with keepers' accommodation, foghorn, gas-making plant and assorted huts and outhouses. I also assume that the light pattern will be 10s(G) 180s (R) as most of our traffic lights appear to be. Being visible at 24 miles should give approaching vehicles plenty of time for motorists to judge the changeover to perfection.
Naturally enough, it will need at least one keeper to mind it and I would like to formally apply for the position now. Like the girl in the Ponytails song, I was born too late for Irish Lights to notice me, but this could be my big reprieve. I am completely antisocial and enjoy my own company and, as my wife will tell you, my gas-making talents know no bounds. I also spend a lot of time making bottles and putting them into ships much to the bewilderment of my grandchildren.

Coming soon, to as roundabout near you

I really think that the authorities might have hit upon something here. Seeing as Irish Lights are allowing many of our lights and dwellings to go to rack and ruin, why not recreate them on land, where they can be seen and enjoyed by a motoring population joyously inching into work? At least the keeper wouldn't get marooned at Christmas, unable to cross the road due to crap weather. And I'm sure the happy motorist would be willing to fork out a few pence per ton for the upkeep of the light, the way that ships pay light dues ...

Four-year-old artist's impression of what the new roundabout will look like

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