Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Eagle Island - a final call to arms

Eagle Island 1970s (photo by Alex Hamilton) Note the pre-circumcised lantern. And paint on the walls.

As some of you may be aware, I've been banging on about writing a book on Eagle Island for a couple of years now. I was hoping that the long-promised Irish Lights archives might have come out online, or even the establishment of a reading room to access them but, at this stage, I suspect we'll be celebrating Ireland winning the World Cup sooner.
Anyway, the book is largely complete now. Over 120,000 words about fourteen acres of land. I still have a couple of people I need to talk to and a lot of proof-reading to do but its more or less in its final shape.

The Queen of Scotchport arriving at the south landing 1932 (photo courtesy Eamon McAndrew)

However, I am still happy to talk / correspond with anybody who might have any knowledge of the island, however small or quirky or seemingly insignificant. Topics include, but are not limited to: former keepers, tradesmen, technicians, boatmen, helicopter pilots (or anybody who may have Eagle Island anecdotes about any of them); flora (is there anything except grass, seapinks and mushrooms?) and fauna (birds, animals, insects, fish, sea mammals); WW1 and WW2; the Stientje Mensinga; the generators, fog signals, lantern, lighting, radio direction beam etc; storms of 1836, 1850, 1861, 1886, 1894, 1921, 1935, 1986, 1988 and others; boats damaged or sunk in the vicinity of the island.

Photographs and / or anecdotes relating to any of the above would also be very welcome. (I'm particularly short of photos of any of the Gallaghers, McAndrews, Kilkers, Gaughans, Williams etc who rowed from Scotchport to the island for the lighthouse reliefs.)

If you can help, or know of anyone who can help, with any of the above, please contact me at (As I'll be selling the book on a non-profit basis, I'm afraid I can't offer a free copy in return for a photograph. Sorry!)

Photo by Richard Cummins


  1. A fine achievement Pete, btw is that Rugby or soccer wc...cause if its soccer we will all be pushing up daisy's:) A

  2. Em! I believe the top picture is mine Peter. Taken in mid 70's. Regards, Al.

  3. I was visiting my Uncle Tom Roddy last Friday, he was telling me about the island, he still has great memories of it and was explaining how the waves would crash over the wall, he said
    “ you would hear the thud of the wave and you have four seconds to get inside before it crashed down on top of you, not spray but green waves “

    1. Delighted to hear Tom is still doing well. I'm seriously thinking of calling the book Green Waves Crashing Down because that's what a lot of keepers remember! You wouldn't have a photo of Tom would you? Gmail or WhatsApp 0873293047 Pete

    2. What was the rationale in removing the lantern top?

    3. Hi Oscar, it was done about ten years ago. They said the lantern was end of life and it was too expensive to maintain. A lot of former keepers are still very angry about it. Pete