Photo copyright - Philip Plisson.
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Position: 52°4.5' N 10°39.7' W
Location: one of the Blasket Islands - most westerly land in Europe apart from the nearby Foze rocks
Present Tower Built: 1864-70
Tower Composition: Rock quarried on island
Height of Tower: 55 ft 9 ins (17 m)
Designer: George Halpin (jnr)
Focal Height of Light: 275 ft 6 ins (84 m) above mean high water
First Lit: 1st May 1870
Light Characteristic: 2 white flashes every 20 seconds, exhibited by day, in poor visibility
Visible Range on clear night: nominal 27 nautical miles
Radar Beacon: Morse 'O' on vessel's radar display.
Inishtearaght (the Western Island) is one of the Blasket Islands, the most westerly land in Europe apart from the nearby Foze rocks.
The island is inhospitable – two steep pinnacles rising to 349 ft (106.4 m) and 656 ft (200 m), joined by a saddle and a more rounded peak of 597 ft (182 m).
Before it was automated this was a typical rock station with a light, fog signal, generating and compressor engines, boat landings with derricks and hoists, and an inclined railway to haul heavy stores and equipment up the side of the island.
Work on the station for the Commissioners of Irish Lights began in 1864.
It was necessary first to construct boat landings and steps and to cut away the island’s hard conglomerate rock to make level terraces on which the lighthouse and dwelling could be built.
Quarry men blasted away tons of rock from the side of the island to make the light visible over Inishvickillane and Inishtooskert, two of the other Blasket islands.
The first-order holophotal light, supplied by Chance Brothers of Birmingham, was displayed at the Paris Exhibition in 1869 before being installed at Inishtearaght.
Its light had a character of one flash every 90 seconds and was exhibited for the first time on 1st May 1870.
This light was improved in 1883 by replacing the original optic with a first-order double flashing light made by Edmundson’s of Dublin.
Incandescent vaporised paraffin replaced the multi-wick oil burner in 1906 and this continued in use until the lighthouse was electrified in 1961.
The station was automated in 1988. Subsequently the inclined railway was decommissioned and the derricks removed.