As part of Irish Lights’ remit to ensure aids to navigation meet international safety standards, and to improve energy efficiency and the environmental footprint at its sites, engineering upgrade works are required at Rathlin East Lighthouse, Rathlin West Lighthouse and Rue Point Lighthouse. Works will begin in May 2021 until December 2021.
As functioning aids to navigation are vital for marine safety, it is essential that the light source at each site remains operational at all times. To this end, during the period of the works, a temporary flashing light known as a standby light will be in operation at both Rathlin East and Rathlin West lighthouses. The temporary lights will have the same characters as their current lights, but their ranges will reduce to 18NM in accordance with published Notice to Mariners No.s 4 of 2021 and 5 of 2021 respectively. The rotating lens will be reinstated to operational use upon the completion of the engineering works. Irish Lights has received Listed Building Consent to proceed with the works from Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council. Further details of project works is available on Irish Lights’ website, Rathlin Island Work Programme Factsheet and in the following Notices to Mariners – Rathlin East Lighthouse and Rathlin West Lighthouse.
Proposed timeline for Works
The programme below gives an overview of the planned works over the coming months. Irish Lights’ teams will be supported from time to time by specialist contractors.
- 24th May 2021: Temporary lights at Rathlin East and Rathlin West lighthouses will come into operation
- May/June 2021: Advance works at Rathlin West and Rathlin East lighthouses
- June to October 2021: Works at Rathlin East Lighthouse
- June to August 2021: Works at Rue Point Lighthouse
- September to December 2021: Works at Rathlin West Lighthouse. Work is scheduled to avoid any impact on the bird nesting season and tourist season.
The rotating lenses at Rathlin East and Rathlin West lighthouses will be reinstated to operational use before the end of 2021.
Irish Lights Covid-19 Health and Safety Guidelines
Irish Lights, its employees and its contractors are committed to taking every necessary precaution to operate within strict health and safety guidelines in relation to Covid-19. Irish Lights will monitor public guidelines and may adjust its programme for the works based on public health guidance.
The three lighthouses on Rathlin Island are sites of great heritage and cultural significance, as well as serving as current functioning aids to navigation used by mariners. They are important landmarks for both the community that surrounds them and the mariner that relies upon them for safe passage. The planned engineering works will safeguard the unique heritage and historical character of these sites while meeting modern health and safety standards.
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