The Bere Island Lighthouse

A beacon to mark the western entrance to Castletownbere was first recommended in 1847 by the Admiralty. It was agreed to build a beacon tower on the west point of Bere Island (Ardnakinna). Construction took place in 1850 and the beacon was left in the care of a local man. The caretaker remained until 1863 when the tower was capped and his services were dispensed with.

In 1901 the Admiralty intimated that Castletownbere was to become a dockyard port and requested that maintenance of the local beacons and buoys be transferred to them. Board of Trade Sanction for the transfer was obtained in 1902.

Following the stranding of a trawler on a rock near Castletownbere in December, 1945 the Berehaven Development Association wrote to the Commissioners requesting that the harbour lights be restored. The Commissioners informed the Association that these lights were set up by the British Admiralty and were discontinued in 1923.

By 1948 Leading Lights at the western entrance of Castletownbere were looked for by mariners using the harbour. Progress was slow and in 1955 a report from Inspector Captain W.J. Kelly recommended a light on Ardnakinna and Leading Lights to mark the channel to the anchorage. These were included in the 1956-57 Estimates but were not sanctioned by the Ministry of Transport. In September, 1962 both the Engineer Mr A.D.H. Martin and Inspector Captain W.H. Ball strongly recommended the Commissioners to press for the lights proposed in the 1956-57 Estimates, but the Ministry of Transport still withheld …