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Fanad Lighthouse, Donegal

Fanad Lighthouse dates back to 1812 when a lighthouse was proposed for the mouth of Lough Swilly following the terrible shipwreck of HMS Saldanha. George Halpin, a civil engineer, was tasked with the design of the lighthouse and it was first lit in March 1817.

The optic of the lighthouse was originally lit using nine sperm oil wick lamps and parabolic reflectors. They shone red towards the sea and white in towards the lough. On a clear day they could be seen for 14 miles.

In 1906 the lamp was switched to paraffin and the steady beam was changed to an intermittent one. This paraffin lamp was used until 1975 at which point the lighthouse was converted to electrical operation. Later, in 1983 the lighthouse was converted to electric operation.

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