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Poolbeg Lighthouse: A Beacon of Hope for Seafarers

May 19, 2023

Poolbeg Lighthouse: A Beacon of Hope for Seafarers


Poolbeg Lighthouse, located at the entrance to Dublin Bay, has been guiding seafarers safely into the port since 1768. Its iconic red and white striped tower has become a recognizable landmark for locals and visitors alike, and it holds a special place in the hearts of many.

The History of Poolbeg Lighthouse

The original Poolbeg Lighthouse was built in 1768, and consisted of a 20-foot wooden structure with a coal fire at the top. In 1820, this was replaced by a more permanent structure, a 70-foot stone tower with a new light that was visible for 12 nautical miles.

Over the years, Poolbeg Lighthouse has undergone a number of changes and upgrades. In 1883, the tower was extended to its current height of 143 feet, and the light was upgraded to a more powerful electric lamp that was visible for up to 18 nautical miles.

During World War II, Poolbeg Lighthouse was used to watch for enemy ships and was painted with camouflage colors to make it less visible from the air. In 1978, the lighthouse was fully automated and the last lighthouse keeper left the site.

The Importance of Poolbeg Lighthouse

Poolbeg Lighthouse has played a vital role in the safe navigation of ships into Dublin Bay for over 250 years. Its light has been a beacon of hope for seafarers, guiding them safely through treacherous waters and providing a welcoming sight for those arriving in port.

Not only is the lighthouse important for maritime safety, but it also has cultural significance. Its iconic design has been featured on postcards, stamps, and in numerous works of art, making it a symbol of Dublin’s maritime heritage.

Visiting Poolbeg Lighthouse

While the lighthouse itself is not open to the public, visitors can still see the iconic structure from the shore. There is a path along the South Bull Wall that offers a great view of the lighthouse and provides an opportunity to take some memorable photos.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also take a boat tour around Dublin Bay that includes a close-up view of Poolbeg Lighthouse. This is a great way to experience the lighthouse and gain a new appreciation for its importance in maritime safety.


Poolbeg Lighthouse has stood as a beacon of hope for seafarers for over 250 years. Its iconic design and cultural significance make it a beloved landmark for many Dubliners. While visitors may not be able to venture onto the lighthouse itself, its importance in maritime safety and its impact on Dublin’s heritage can still be appreciated from the shore or on a guided boat tour.


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