Council hopes lighthouse can draw tourists
Cork County Council has applied for funding from the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht to help transform the grounds of Youghal lighthouse into a visitor attraction.
The quarter- acre site sits facing the west Waterford hills and affords panoramic view of the harbour mouth from 30m above craggy rocks. “It would make an ideal viewing area,” says Ms Mulcahy.
The plot includes a couple of adjoining outhouses, but another ne a r by p ro pe r t y on the grounds remains in private ownership.
The plan does not include opening the lighthouse itself to visitors as the space within is “incredibly small” says east Cork municipal district officer Helen Mulcahy.
Ms Mulcahy does not discount the possibility of access to the tower at some future date may be explored.
Cork County Council acquired ownership of the lighthouse and its associated lawn and sheds following the abolition of Youghal Town Council in 2014.
That was a year after the town council had received ownership of the structures from the Commission of Irish Lights.
The handover arose after a 2010 commissioner review had decided that Youghal lighthouse served as an aid to local navigation only, while government funding since then only supports general navigation aids.
Yo ug h a l To w n Council wa nt e d ownership of the adjacent property also, to create a craft shop and café but the commissioner opted to sell that section instead.
The county council spends around €6,000 maintaining the lighthouse and its environs. Its maintenance duties include keeping the lighthouse functional. An electronic circuit drives a single LED lamp, with the bulb “checked every week”, Ms Mulcahy says. The commissioner bequeathed a large quantity of the 1,000 watt bulbs ( t wo a year) when handing over the facility.
Meantime, the lighthouse exterior is being repainted in a process that is repeated every five years.
Perhaps surprisingly, the new coat is “bog standard, br i l l i a n t wh i t e We at h e r - shield”, says the district officer, saying it is “extremely difficult to get anybody to paint a lighthouse.”
The successful applicant was Tipperary painting contractor Tommy Flanag an, alerted by e-tender.
Youghal lighthouse. Council hopes to convert t attraction.