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Fanad Lighthouse in north Donegal has been watching over the mouth of Lough Swilly since 1817.

The lighthouse was built as a result of the sinking of the HMS Saldahna in 1811 with the loss of 254 lives. The only survivor was the ship's parrot! As a consequence of this tragedy, it was recommended that a lighthouse be built at Fannet Point as it was then known, and on St. Patrick’s Day 1817 the light was lit for the first time.

Generations of light-keepers have lived here and in the course of the guided tour, visitors will be introduced to some of them. They will hear the stories of their lives around the Irish coast, the hardship and the challenges of their lives and some of the tragedies that befell them.

It will highlight the importance of the role and how highly they were regarded in the local community. It will also include the history of this coastal Gaeltacht (Irish speaking) area.

They will hear of some of the tragedies in the surrounding sea, view the scenery and learn about the new technology that watches the coastline today. The highlight of the tour is the climb to the top of the tower, 76 steep granite steps, to see the light that provides the steadfast service that keeps seamen safe.

The lighthouse is situated in a special area of conservation and visitors are invited to picnic, to take walks and to enjoy the scenery.

With the lighthouse now fully automated, the light-keepers have left and their homes have been renovated to provide accommodation. There are three self-catering cottages, suitable for four and two people.

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