IRISH Lights has still not confirmed the source of the mercury leak at the Fastnet Rock lighthouse which was detected last month.
Following a query from The Southern Star, Irish Lights issued a statement confirming that ‘higher levels’ of mercury had been detected at the rock, days after the controversial removal of the light, to make way for an LED bulb.
This week Irish Lights said the authority was ‘still in the process of completing its examination of the source of the mercury that resulted in higher than normal readings inside the lantern room at Fastnet’.
It added: ‘Irish Lights is aware that during a storm event in 1985 the lighthouse keepers in attendance at that time noted removing (sic) a small amount of mercury from the lantern room. The current inspection will help determine whether residue from that time could have been the cause of the recent readings which coincided with very hot weather temperatures.’
It further stated that mercury levels at the Fastnet are currently normal and that Irish Lights personnel are now working again on the station, having been removed after the recent detection.
‘Specialist contractors have now completed the mercury removal,’ the statement said, continuing: ‘It is important to note that the occurrence of mercury was confined to the lighthouse lantern tower.
‘There is no reason for any members of the public to be concerned about exposure in the vicinity of the lighthouse.’
Meanwhile, a Baltimore man attempted a first-ever swim from the Fastnet to Tragumna beach on Tuesday of this week.