Galley Flash Rowing Club are hosting an open day at the Galley Head Lighthouse on Sunday, 30th April, noon to 4.30pm. Sandra Hayes Buckley, pro, shares what’s special about it
What can people expect at the open day?
On the day the grounds of the lighthouse, which are usually closed to the public, will be open to all. Attendant lightkeeper Gerald Butler will be on hand to deliver his now infamous talks about the history of Galley Head Lighthouse and indeed, his own story of being a lightkeeper down through the years. The highlight of the day for many will be the ascent of the lighthouse tower where you can view the lighthouse lamp and step onto the tower’s balcony taking in breathtaking views of the surrounding area.
Access to the grounds of the lighthouse and entry to Gerald Butler’s talks are free of charge while ascent of the tower is €5 per person. For health and safety reasons, access to the tower is restricted to over 10s.
There will be ample parking nearby for visitors and a shuttle bus will run throughout the day.
Share a lesser known fact about the lighthouse?
The light from Galley Head Lighthouse, unusually, flashes inland as well as seaward. The reason for the light shining landward is said to be as a result of a visit of the Sultan of Turkey to nearby Castlefreke where the Sultan requested to see it.
Because the light from the lighthouse also flashes over Kilkern Lake, the local rowing club and hosts of the open day, GalleyFlash Rowing Club, was named after it.
Why do you think it’s such a much-loved building on the local landscape?
Personally I think for many it symbolises ‘home,’ the comforting flash of the lighthouse symbolises the proximity to the sea and to the neighbouring Ardfield and Rathbarry communities.
With fishing, rowing and other sea-faring activities so prominent in West Cork, the lighthouse is a symbol stability, security and hope.
Of course, Galley Head Lighthouse in particular is a beautiful building kept in pristine condition and the ascent of the lighthouse tower is truly a special experience which lends itself to why this is such a well-loved building.