Clare County Council has announced that Loop Head Lighthouse will remain open to members of the public each weekend during the month of September.
The extension of the opening period follows on from a successful summer season that has seen 15,870 people (12,034 adults, 3,836 children) visit the 19th century landmark building.
Clare County Council, along with Shannon Development, Loop Head Tourism and the Commissioners of Irish Lights (CIL), opened the 19th century lighthouse to the public for the second successive summer season on 18 May last.
According to Ger Dollard, Director of Services, Clare County Council: “Loop Head Lighthouse will close at 5.30 p.m. on 3rd September next. However, we are delighted to be able to open the lighthouse each weekend during September up to the final weekend, which coincides with the Che do Bheatha festival in Kilkee. Opening hours each Saturday and Sunday during September will remain the same as the summer opening hours.”
“The lighthouse visitor numbers are extremely encouraging and we look forward to building on this during September,” Mr. Dollard added.
Loop Head Lighthouse, located at the mouth of the Shannon Estuary, is steeped in history and rich in maritime heritage with its origins dating back to the 1670s. The existing tower style lighthouse was constructed in 1854 and was operated and maintained by a keeper who lived within the lighthouse compound.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s grandfather was a keeper at the lighthouse. James John McGinley took up duty at the Lighthouse as Principal Keeper on 16th January 1933. He spent 1 year and 10 months at Loop Head. He was transferred from the station in October 1934. In January 1991, the lighthouse was converted to automatic operation, and today is in the care of an attendant and is also monitored by the CIL.
Visit www.loophead.ie, www.clare.ie or www.shannonregiontrails.ie for more information on Loop Head Lighthouse and the Loop Head Peninsula.