The Gathering was a roaring success with a fantastic turnout of ex-lighthouse keepers, attendants, their extended families and general enthusiasts.
The festivities opened on Friday evening with a welcome reception of drinks and canapés on the grounds of Hook Lighthouse with speeches from Cllr Larry O’Brien, Canadian Ambassador Loyola Hearn and the Vice-Chairman to the Board, David Delamer. Tux Tweedy, a former attendant of Hook gave a memorable and concise speech commemorating those who have served our isle and remembered those who have perished in our waters. The speeches were brought to a close with a blessing for all who have been lost at sea astride the beautifully lit 800 year old tower. The entertainment began with the Wexford Male Voice Choir who provided a varying repertoire accompanied by Soprano Emma Rochford, a local of the Hook peninsula.
Saturday’s social coffee morning had over 100 people in attendance. Failte Ireland and Irish Lights gave presentations outlining the upcoming Wild Atlantic Way Project and the proposed All Island Lighthouse Trail. The morning concluded with the raucous hum of attendants, ex-lighthouse keepers and family members swapping tales and suggesting possible themes for the trail with general conviviality ensuring a good time was had by all.
Saturday afternoon offered a lighthouse symposium with guests speakers Kevin Whelan of the Notre Dame University, Ian Webster & Bob Mackintosh from NLB and our own Robert McCabe. The evening’s seafood buffet had 270 in attendance in a full to capacity lavish marquee with traditional airs setting the mood. Great food and a lovely evening ensued.
So a very big thank you to all who have been involved in their efforts regarding the Gathering at Hook and to those in Irish Lights who attended and assisted the events over a very successful weekend.
This weekend was a truly unique event where the backbone of Irish Lights had an opportunity to talk about the confined, solitary and lonely lives lightkeeper’s and attendants maintained in order to keep Ireland's shores and coastal waters safe on a daily basis. For this and their watchful eyes we thank you all.