CLARE County Council has reversed its initial decision not to open Loop Head lighthouse, on a daily basis, until the June Bank Holiday weekend. The lighthouse will now open on Saturday and will remain open daily (10am to 6pm) until the end of September.
In last weeks Clare Champion Kilbaha businessman Bernie Keating said that the lighthouse should open “every day from the month of May,” as he felt visitor numbers warranted it. In 2013 the lighthouse opened on St Patrick’s Day.
Clare County Council manages the lighthouse in conjunction with the Commissioners of Irish Lights.
It is one of two Signature Discovery Points in Clare along the route of the recently launched Wild Atlantic Way and attracted 19,000 visitors during the six-month opening period in 2013. The figure represents an increase of 2,000 on the same period in 2012.
“The public opening of Loop Head lighthouse will provide a significant boost to the local tourism sector and the economy, which has benefited greatly since the attraction was first opened to the public in 2012,” Siobhan Garvey, Marketing and Development Officer for West Clare said.
“The fact that the attraction is opening on a 7-days-a-week basis from this Easter Bank Holiday Weekend is particularly timely,” she added.
Loop Head lighthouse dates 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. 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 Commissioners of Irish Lights. In July 2011, Clare County Council, with the support and co-operation of the Commissioners of Irish Lights, Shannon Development and Loop Head Tourism, opened the lighthouse as a visitor attraction on a trial basis.
Visit www.loophead.ie or www.clare.ie for more information on Loop Head lighthouse and the Loop Head peninsula.