John Eagle Photography: Blog en-us (C) John Eagle Photography (John Eagle Photography) Sat, 22 Oct 2016 19:10:00 GMT Sat, 22 Oct 2016 19:10:00 GMT John Eagle Photography: Blog 120 80 After the Storm After the StormAfter the Stormoil on canvas

A few years ago I painted this oil, calling it 'After the Storm' and hung it at Anam Cara Artist and Writer's Retreat in Eyeries, where it hung for many years. Then in September the poet D.J. Gaskin came to stay there, a Ronan Lynagh and John Saunders. Together they were inspired to write poems and songs inspired by my painting. Nothing like this had ever happened to me before and I was greatly moved. Sue Booth Forbes who runs the Anam Cara Artist and Writers Retreat Centre asked me roun d for supper to meet these wonderful people, and then afterwards they recited their poems and songs, and I recorded them doing that with my iphone. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do

After the StormRonan Lynagh playing a song on his guitar inspired by my painting

After the StormJohn Saunders reciting a poem inspired by my painting

After the StormPoet D.J. Gaskins recites a poem inspired by my oil painting

]]> (John Eagle Photography) Beara Irish Fri, 21 Oct 2016 21:22:30 GMT
Wild Atlantic Way videos Wild Atlantic Way ~ Irish Lighthouse videos

I've been flying my drone 'Eagle Eye' making lots of videos of wild Irish headlands, especially ones with lighthouses on

Cromwell Point lighthouseVideo shot from Eagle Eye last day of March 2016

The above is of Cromwell Point which I shot on the very last day of March which turned out to be a gorgeous day. This I recorded a narrative for and also made a bit long. After this I decided that it was best to shoot a quick video with just the sound of the ocean and no talking as the surf sounds were drowning out the narrative. Viewers can see my website for information on these lighthouse, and also come on my lighthouse tours to learn more, therefore listening to me on the video wasn't necessary.

Ballycotton which I shot during the Southern Irish Lighthouse Tour was a touch scary, as there were lots of seagulls flying in circles round Eagle Eye and I feared they might collide with it. I was constantly soaring to avoid a collision or banking away. I flew out to sea to get away from them to a shot of the whole island, but that meant I had to find a safe way back. In the end I returned safely and neither the gulls or Eagle Eye were harmed.

Galley Head I shot on a beautiful fine morning. I had originally filmed a video of Galley Head in February, putting a narrative with it. Back then I did not fly very far away as I was nervous of going over the sea. Fears of it dropping out of the sky and meeting a watery end played heavy on my mind. However as it was pointed out to me by another photographer if it came down on land it would most likely smash into lots of pieces. It is something a drone pilot must consider, that the device will fall and if you are not prepared then you shouldn't be flying it in the first place. There are rules to be obeyed, like not flying over people for obvious reasons. I do my utmost to obey these rules and film in remote locations

Hook Head in April. Not remote but quiet. This is one of the most visited lighthouses in the country, on par with the Mizen which also attracts thousands of visitors each year. As you can see in the above video there weren't many people there. It was a damp cloudy day when I arrived, but brightened up superbly an hour after I arrived. I was here again at the start of July on the Southern Irish Lighthouse Tour but then there were lots of people and the weather wasn't so good. I saw the risks with all those people there and knew it was best not to try a flight; besides it was going to be difficult to improve on the above April video

Sheep's HeadRemote location ideal for flying a drone. The lighthouse was built to assist oil tankers entering Bantry Bay on their way to the Whiddy Island Oil Terminal

This is one of those gorgeous remote locations Ireland is famous for, even so there are people who have chosen to walk here for the wildness of the Sheep's Head Way. You can see them milling around the base of the lighthouse. You will also see I fly Eagle Eye at a distance from them, never over them. The subject matter here for me was the lighthouse, and its amazing location. A small lighthouse, not very interesting, and yet in its position made to look exciting. You start to wonder what mammals might be swimming in the ocean below

Dursey Island apprach

Dursey Island, above, is truly special. Far from the madding crowd, and with an old lighthouse to boot. You can just make out a ruin on the right. This was a temporary lighthouse built after the Calf Rock lighthouse was destroyed in a violent storm in the 1880s. It operated until the lighthouse on the Bull Rock was completed. In 1994 I flew out to the Bull Rock to take a picture for postcard #8 in the Irish Lighthouse Series and while I was out there Captain Mick Conneely asked me if I would like a picture of the Calf Rock as well. I thanked him and as he flew me there in the Bolkow helicopter I looked out at the awesome sight of Dursey and snapped two pictures. One of these I produced as a framed print which can be seen on the wall of Casey's Hotel in Glengarriff, the other as a postcard, with text on the back by local author Penny Durell. It became one of my biggest selling postcards. I shot it on colour slide, and over the years it faded and faded. I saved it digitally but even so there was a problem because a hairline mark meant good printing impossible. So I wanted to go back and re take the picture and had the good fortune to get the beautiful surf lines you see in the above video. The original aerial shot you can see on my News page of my website. As well as video I produced a new postcard of Dursey which you can purchase from my postcard page if you wish

Other lighthouse videos include Ballinacourty, Roche's Point, Loop Head and Kilcredaune which is a no longer working lighthouse on the River Shannon

To finish here are a couple of gorgeous headlands on the Wild Atlantic Way, firstly the Cod's Head

I love this place, all those slanting rock lines, well off the beaten track where there is no likelihood of people. Beautiful wild Ireland, remote and yet not so remote. In the distance on the right you can just make out Allihies village, on the left just out of shot is Eyeries village. It was on the Cod's Head that scenes were shot for the film 'Falling for a Dancer' one of Colin Farrell's first movies

Last but not least is Kilcatherine, which is close to my heart. I often take my dog for walks along this headland, which sits between the Kenmare Bay and Coulagh Bay.

Prints are available from images I shot whilst making the videos, and I have a cracking one of Kilcatherine see below. At least I think its a cracker

Kilcatherine PointKilcatherine Point

I hope you enjoy my videos, John Eagle


]]> (John Eagle Photography) Atlantic Way Wild Wed, 06 Jul 2016 23:10:34 GMT
Dursey Island Dursey IslandDursey IslandDursey Island from the western end

Dursey Island

In 1994 I was flying in a Bolkow helicopter  with Capt. Mick Conneely between the Bull Rock lighthouse and the Calf Rock when I noticed out of the window an interesting view of Dursey, which I snapped with my trusty Canon A-1 using colour slide film. I should have taken several shots, but hindsight is wonderful. Little did I realise how popular my shot would be. I made a postcard from the shot, helped by Penny Durell who was writing a book on the island which later became Discover Dursey. She wrote the text that appeared on the back of the postcard. The postcard sold in its thousands. Anyway June 7th 2016 was a nice day so I took my drone Eagle Eye for a flight off the western end and the above shot is one of many I took. I also shot a video see below, while I at it

Dursey IslandVideo from Eagle Eye at the Western End of the Dursey flying in and looking at thousands of sea pinks

Prints are available here on my Zenfolio site and also from my personal pro lab, which you can order from off my website:


]]> (John Eagle Photography) Beara Dursey Island Tue, 07 Jun 2016 23:20:44 GMT
Northern Ireland Lighthouse Tour 2016 Northern Irish Lighthouse tour 2016The 2016 Northern Tour route

Join me on a fabulous trip up the Wild Atlantic Way through Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Donegal, Antrim, Down and Dublin seeing the lighthouses of Northern Ireland and the West coast. Only 4 places available, 2 sold already

The Northern Irish Lighthouse Tour 2016 awaits you

Fog signalFog signalFog signal machine at St. Johns lighthouse Down

See a beautifully kept fog signal machine start up and run

St. John's PointSt. John's PointSt. John's Point lighthouse, Co. Down

St. Johns, Co. Down

I'm the author of two books on Irish lighthouses


]]> (John Eagle Photography) Sat, 28 May 2016 11:30:26 GMT
After Sheep After SheepAfter SheepOil on canvas. Seamus going after sheep in a valley of Beara

Oil on canvas. Seamus going after sheep in a valley of Beara

I have gone back to painting after a spell away from it. This is the second one I have done in two days and I am really pleased with the result

]]> (John Eagle Photography) oil on canvas John Eagle Art Beara Sat, 30 Apr 2016 20:08:01 GMT
The Beara Peninsula

I have filming several aspects of the Beara Peninsula in South West Ireland, promoting for the website which is the number one site for finding accommodation and ranks very highly for for finding a place to eat. This particular video shows the Mare's Tail waterfall in Adrigole which featured in the Neil Jordan vampire movie Byzantium. Neil turned the waterfall blood red for one scene

]]> (John Eagle Photography) Bysantium Neil Jordan Mare's Tail Adrigole Beara Discover Thu, 21 Apr 2016 10:31:37 GMT
An old traditional Irish window An old traditional Irish windowAn old traditional Irish windowAn old traditiona Irish shop window

An old traditional Irish shop window.

]]> (John Eagle Photography) Irish traditional windows Wed, 20 Apr 2016 20:42:48 GMT

Great weather conditions came my way on the final day of March when I went over to Cromwell Point lighthouse to take some pictures and was rewarded with pictures to treasure and video footage I have always dreamed of getting

]]> (John Eagle Photography) lighthouse Cromwell Point Irish Lights Fri, 01 Apr 2016 11:08:41 GMT
Traditional Irish Music

On Easter Saturday I was lucky enough to film Michael O'Driscoll and his sister Eileen playing traditional Irish music in their home here in Beara. They agreed to play so I could add their music to my video of Eyeries. The videos of them playing can be seen at:
and the video of Eyeries I did with my drone is at:

]]> (John Eagle Photography) Trad. Irish Music Eyeries Beara Sun, 27 Mar 2016 16:02:47 GMT
The Harbour's Mouth

I took Eagle Eye out over the entrance to Berehaven to film the Piper Rocks and Ardnakinna lighthouse. This was the result

]]> (John Eagle Photography) lighthouse Ardnakinna Piper Rocks Wed, 23 Mar 2016 22:44:31 GMT
Aerial videos of lighthouses

I've been out and about doing aerial videos of lighthouses on the south coast, Loop Head featured here out in the extremities of County Clare. I'm shooting them from my Phantom 3 Advanced drone called Eagle Eye. I am doing voice overs with them to tell viewers a little about each lighthouse. So please check them out. Hope you enjoy them.

There is also a new gallery called Eagle Eye showing stills I have taken with the drone

John Eagle

]]> (John Eagle Photography) Loop Head Mizen Galley Crookhaven Kilcredaune lighthouses Wed, 24 Feb 2016 20:06:18 GMT
Star Wars VII location: Skellig Michael Skellig MichaelSkellig MichaelThe stairway Rey climbs up to meet up with Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars movie The Force Awakens. She climbs up and passes through the low doorway that goes to the monastic settlement. Picture John Eagle


This is the stairway Rey climbs up to meet up with Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars movie The Force Awakens. She climbs up and passes through the low doorway that goes to the monastic settlement. More of my views of Skellig Michael can seen at the link below. Good enough film, but if LucasFilms make one more Death Star I shall scream. The Force Awakens was visually impressive but just lacked a good story line. You can't keep making the same one over and over. We want something new please.


]]> (John Eagle Photography) Awakens Force Michael Skellig Star The Wars Mon, 21 Dec 2015 12:06:57 GMT
Helicopter at Ardnakinna Helicopter at ArdnakinnaHelicopter at ArdnakinnaIrish Helicopters Eurocopter 135 taking off from Ardnakinna lighthoiuse on Bere Island


Irish Helicopters Eurocopter 135 taking off from Ardnakinna lighthoiuse on Bere Island

Irish Helicopters Eurocopter 135 taking off from Ardnakinna lighthoiuse on Bere Island

Starting to get a collection of helicopters so I thought why not make a new gallery of pictures. I've called it Aircraft

]]> (John Eagle Photography) Atlantic Irish Way Wild aircraft helicopters lighthouse Wed, 16 Dec 2015 22:05:04 GMT
Galley Head lantern Galley Head lanternGalley Head lanternGalley Head lighthouse on the south coast of Co. Cork was once the most powerful lantern in Ireland. I often bring people here on tour. Picture John Eagle


I thought I would have a look through my after dark pictures of lighthouses and put the best ones up here on my Zenfolio website. This one is Galley Head lighthouse on the south coast of Co. Cork was once the most powerful lantern in Ireland. I often bring people here on tour. You can see the others at:



]]> (John Eagle Photography) Atlantic Irish Way Wild after dark lighthouses Wed, 09 Dec 2015 20:59:04 GMT
Fastnet lighthouse Fastnet lighthouseFastnet lighthouseThe Fastnet seen from the western side, taken in April after a bit of a storm. In the background you can see a fishing boat gathering pots. Picture John Eagle


The Fastnet seen from the western side, taken in April after a bit of a storm. In the background you can see a fishing boat gathering pots. I have been to the Fastnet many times both by helicopter and boat. It holds a certain fascination for me. In these rough winter storms it is hard not to feel pity for the lighthouse standing out there. Imagine the life of the keepers there, being pounded by savage gales. This tower was completed in 2004, replacing the cast iron one, the stump of which you can see painted black. They decided to replace when a similar cast iron tower on the Calf Rock was destroyed. I have pictures of that as well from sea and air.

You can see my other Fastnet pictures at:


]]> (John Eagle Photography) Atlantic Fastnet Ireland Way Wild lighthouse Wed, 09 Dec 2015 16:39:45 GMT
Wild Atlantic Way sunset

Sunset on Coulagh Bay, where it meets the wild Atlantic. In the foreground is Inisfernard Island with Cow and Bull rocks on the horizon. I took the shot from Kilcatherine Point. There used to be people living on Inisfernard, there are ruins of houses there. Only inhabitants now are sheep. Picture John Eagle

]]> (John Eagle Photography) Wild Atlantic Way Tue, 08 Dec 2015 18:13:52 GMT
Wedge grave Wedge graveWedge graveWedge grave on Kilcatherine, Beara, West Cork
Picture John Eagle

Wedge grave on Kilcatherine, Beara, West Cork. It's the time for great sunset shots of the Wild Atlantic Way. I took this shot half a mile from the wild Atlantic which is icy green and very cold looking
Picture John Eagle

]]> (John Eagle Photography) Wild Atlantic Way pictures Tue, 08 Dec 2015 17:47:22 GMT
Oil painting Painting

I have been through a rough patch with my creative painting. I suppose with the busy summer of constantly traveling, showing people round Ireland, I lost my way a little. A friend, artist Bill Griffin, asked me if I would paint a small piece for sale to raise money for next year's Michael O'Dwyer tin whistle festival. He asked me this in September. I sighed, not because I didn't want to paint but because my desire to paint was not there. I did not want to go into my studio and paint. It was going to be a fairly barren two months for me although I did manage one oil

This one I did at the start of October. I was pleased with it, but it gained hardly any reaction and that didn't help my state of mind. I concentrated on taking pictures instead. Sarah Walker came to the rescue, showing 6 of my oils in her lovely Art Gallery by the harbour in Castletownbere, lighting them beautifully. It should have spurred me on, but I still felt out in a barren land. I bought a couple of canvases in the Art Shop in Bantry, putting them where I would see them waiting to be painted, like to nudge me into painting. I shook my head, it just wasn't in me to paint. Bill reminded me a few times that he needed me to paint. I nodded, then forgot about it. Then he saw me last week and said he needed that painting. I nodded, and asked him when he needed it by, he told me it was for next week. By now it was becoming a burden, something weighing on my mind to get something done. So I went and did him his painting, on a small canvas 7x5 inches and felt relieved that I had got that out of the way.

However there was a slow rumbling fire inside me, a sort of anger, thoughts of Turner came to mind, a scene of a burning sky, galleon ablaze. I felt angry with the world, but for no real reason. The last painting I had done, the one above, I had posted on my John Eagle Art Facebook wall and it had gained 2 likes. Maybe people were bored with me, or as it came to pass I felt they just weren't interested in art.

November 9th I went to bed with desire to paint again, a hell fury painting, let my thoughts pour out onto canvas. I woke today, 10th and went back to sleep. No interest in painting. There were other things I could be doing. I fed the pets, and picked up the bag with the two canvases and said I would give one a try.

To hell with all those idiots who tell me to stop painting dark, I was going to paint another dark one. I put out dollops of black, paynes grey, dark blue, primrose red, dark purple, dark green and some white, then went at the canvas.

Boat repairBoat repairSeamus and Mihael tending their boat during the winter months on the coast of Beara. Oil on canvas 16x12 inches

As it turned out it wasn't so dark by the finish. Two men, Seamus and his brother Mihael making repairs to their fishing boat while a wild Atlantic storm rages. 16x12 inches in size. Standing back I am really pleased with the result. Share on Facebook? Nah, that is the crux of the problem, it cheapens it too much. If only two people like it again will I stop painting for another two months? I will leave it on my website for people to slowly discover. Facebook is far too quick, bang it up there and hope nice comments come. But who cares if it gets liked? I know several people who hit the like button just like they suck on a fag, more than one likes everything I do, so in reality they like nothing I do. Facebook is good for jokes, silly videos but not much else.


]]> (John Eagle Photography) Beara Irish art canvas oil on Tue, 10 Nov 2015 20:02:58 GMT
Northern Irish Lighthouse Tour 2015 The 2015 Northern Irish Lighthouse Tour

August 30th to September 6th

We met up for the tour at Bunratty, collecting people from Shannon Airport and having our first meal at The Creamery in Bunratty village before heading off into the lush wilds of Clare to Fortfield Farmhouse for our first night.

Happy HookerHappy HookerOne of the Doolin Ferries that sails to the Aran Islands, seen here arriving at Inisheer pier

We made our way to Doolin on the 31st to board the Happy Hooker for a cruise up through the Aran Islands calling in at Inisheer

Inisheer lighthouseInisheer lighthouseInisheer lighthouse, Aran Islands, Galway

Inisheer lighthouse which we visit on the Southern tour, we passed it by on our way into the harbour to let some passengers off before heading first to Inishmann before reaching our destination Kilronan at Inishmore. Here we were met by John Faherty who took us for a tour of the island in his minibus. First stop was the ancient cliff face fort of Dún Aengus

DĂșn AengusDún AengusThe cliffs at Dún Aengus on Inishmore, Aran Islands

Dún Aengus, Inishmore

Inishmore lighthouseInishmore lighthouseInishmore Napoleonic signal tower and old lighthouse tower

We also visited the old lighthouse that stands on top of a hill. It was discontinued because it was forever getting obscured by low cloud, being replaced by Straw Island and Inisheer lighthouses. Next to the old tower is the ruin of the Napoleonic signal tower which was built over 200 years ago as a defence against the forces of Napoleon. A signal would be sent to the next one along the coast and so on back to Dublin should a sighting of an invading army be seen

Straw Island lighthouseStraw Island lighthouseStraw Island lighthouse near Inishmore in the Aran Islands

Straw Island lighthouse marks the entrance to Kilronan harbour on Inishmore

From Inishmore we took the high speed ferry Draiocht Na Farraige to Rossaveal

Draiocht Na FarraigeDraiocht Na FarraigeThe high speed ferry Draiocht Na Farraige Aran Island ferry at Rossaveal

Draiocht Na Farraige at Rossaveal

Tommy Hartnett our bus driver was waiting for us at the ferry terminal, and drove us up through Connemara to The Helm in Westport for supper before taking us up to our wonderful B&B Brú Chlann Lir in Blacksod

We spent two nights here and during our time saw three lighthouses, Eagle Island, Blacksod and Broadhaven, and also Downpatrick

BlacksodBlacksodTour members at Blacksod lighthouse, Mayo

Lisa, Greg and myself at Blacksod lighthouse

BlacksodBlacksod2015 Northern Irish Lighthouse Tour members at Blacksod

2015 Northern Irish Lighthouse Tour members at Blacksod lighthouse l-r Kathy, John, John Eagle, Lisa, Greg, Claudia and Oliver

BroadhavenBroadhavenBroadhaven lighthouse, Erris, Co. Mayo

Broadhaven lighthouse, recently painted

Eagle Island lighthouseEagle Island lighthouseThe sad looking Eagle Island lighthouse, Erris, Co. Mayo

Eagle Island looking more like some castle in southern Spain. The tower has been squashed in, and the contents of the interior removed. The policy of Irish Lights is to provide safety at sea. I am seriously thinking of removing this from future Northern lighthouse tours as in my opinion it no longer resembles a lighthouse

DownpatrickDownpatrickDownpatrick Head, Co. Mayo

Downpatrick Head which we all enjoyed visiting, so breathtaking. After spending a couple of hours there we went for tea at the Ceidin Fields where if you have a good sense of imagination you might believe the stones in the bog resemble some ancient buildings. Still it provides employment to several people

DownpatrickDownpatrickKathy Cavalier at Downpatrick

Tour member Kathy Cavalier close to the edge at Downpatrick

That evening we went to Blacksod after dark to see it all lit up. As we arrived an Irish Coast Guard helicopter showed up


Irish Coast GuardIrish Coast GuardIrish Coast Guard helicopter at Blacksod helicopter pad, Mayo

The Irish Coast Guard helicopter took quite awhile to cool down

Oyster IslandOyster IslandOyster Island, Rosses Point, Sligo

September 2nd saw us go north to Sligo and see the lights there, like Oyster Island above and The Metal Man below

The Metal ManThe Metal ManThe Metal Man, Rosses Point, Sligo

The Metal Man always generates lots of interest, standing there all alone pointing into the channel the boats must use to pass safely to Sligo or out into the Atlantic

We then carried up the coast to visit St. John's Point at the entrance to Killybegs Harbour

St. John's PointSt. John's PointSt. John's Point lighthouse, Co. Donegal

St. Johns used to be the place where the helicopter servicing Rathlin O'Birne landed. I flew from here out there. Rathlin O'Birne was once powered by nuclear energy.

After lunch in Killybegs we took shots of Rotten Island lighthouse and then headed over to see to the Slieve League cliffs

Slieve LeagueSlieve LeagueSlieve League, Ireland's highest cliffs on the south coast of Donegal

Slieve League are the highest cliffs in Ireland are currently free to visit. They make a spectacular vista for photographing.

Carrigan HeadCarrigan HeadThe Napoleonic signal tower at Carrigan Head, Slieve League, Donegal

This is Carrigan Head, on which stands a Napoleonic signal tower, part of the chain of towers on headlands along the coast. The head is part of the Slieve League cliffs

We spent the night at the superb B&B The Railway Lodge in Donegal town, and headed into town for some entertainment at the Reel Inn

Reel InnReel InnLive traditional music at the Reel Inn, Donegal

A regular feature at the Reel inn are the musicians making it a must to visit

Above is a short video I shot whilst I was there

Refreshed from our visit to Donegal town we headed north the next day to Fanad, the jewel in the Donegal coast

FanadFanadFanad lighthouse on the north coast of Co. Donegal

Fanad Head all painted up in readiness to open to the public, which we hope won't be much longer

We headed south to Letterkenny after taking pictures of Fanad. There is a ferry across Lough Swilly but the tide was low and we had trouble before getting our bus onto the ferry so we thought we would go south and round the head of the lough, then up to Buncrana and east to Redcastle for our night's stay at Inishowen Lodge. We got to see Inishowen lighthouse while we were there

Inishowen lighthouseInishowen lighthouseInishowen lighthouse to the north of Greencastle, Co. Donegal

Tour member John Kennedy lining up the lighthouse for his next shot

We went to visit this little lighthouse as well, one I had not seen before. It is called Warrenpoint and stands on the edge of the Greencastle Golf Club, the members of which were most helpful in letting us walk out to it to take pictures

Into Northern Ireland the following day for a visit to the Bushmills Distillery, then the Giants Causeway where if you want a cup of coffee you have to pay a cover charge of £9 to gain admittance to the visitor's centre. if you just want to see the Causeway entrance is free which is kinda bizarre. You get charged an entrance fee to get refreshments and buy souvenirs, but to visit the Causeway you just make your way round the centre and walk down the lane. It was very wet when we were there so I didn't go to the rocks myself on this occasion. I was there in August and got to take some pictures. I must go back there when there aren't so many people around

Our bed for the next two nights was at Blackhead lighthouse

Blackhead lighthouseBlackhead lighthouseBlackhead lighthouse, Co. Antrim

Blackhead after dark with the lights of Bangor in the distance

Blackhead lighthouseBlackhead lighthouseBlackhead lighthouse after dark

Blackhead all lit up

September 5th saw us take a drive round Co. Down

Donaghadee lighthouseDonaghadee lighthouseDonaghadee lighthouse on the Co. Down coast

First up was this lovely lighthouse on the pier at Donaghadee

DonaghadeeDonaghadeeThe seaside town of Donaghadee on the Co. Down coast

Donaghadee on the Co. Down coast

We made our way down the coast passing Angus Rock and Ardglass lighthouses crossing over Strangford Lough which derives from a Viking name meaning strong current. The tides here move swiftly and making use of them is a water turbine machine

PortaferryPortaferryTommy Hartnett's bus waiting to go onto the ferry at Portaferry, Co. Down

Our bus waiting to go on the ferry at Portaferry which was a boat building community for many years

St. John's PointSt. John's PointSt. John's Point lighthouse, Co. Down

St. Johns Point was a delight to visit, the sunshine was plentiful and it was warm

St. John's PointSt. John's PointSt. John's Point lighthouse, Co. Down

Ireland's only black and yellow lighthouse, made famous by Brendan Behan and his painting skills

No visit to the lighthouse is complete without a visit inside the fog signal machine and to hear it run

St. Johns fog siren machineA beautifully kept machine for generating the fog signal at St. Johns Point lighthouse in County Down, one of several kept in perfect working order even though the fog signals are no longer used in Ireland

The above video I shot in August, but Henry obliged us with getting it working again. He keeps it in perfect working order

St. John's PointSt. John's PointSt. John's Point lighthouse, Co. Down

St. John's as we left, silhouetted against the bright sun

September 6th we departed Blackhead early o drive south to visit the Baily for a wonderful tour of the lighthouse

The BailyThe BailyThe Baily lighthouse watching over Dublin Bay

This is where the Keepers for the Irish Lights service were trained and it was the last lighthouse to be automated

The BailyThe BailyThe lantern at The Baily

The lantern at The Baily watching over Dublin Bay

Our tour lasted two hours and then we had to part company and go our different ways. A great week


St. John's DownSt. John's Down

Last but not least here is a group photo of the Northern Tour 2015 members

l-r: Lisa, Greg, John K, Henry (Attendant at St. Johns), Kathy, Claudia, Oliver and John Eagle









]]> (John Eagle Photography) Northern Irish Lighthouse Tour Tue, 08 Sep 2015 00:28:42 GMT
Customised lighthouse tour August 2015 Lighthousekeeters Customized Irish Lighthouse Tour

In 2013 Kathleen Reid emailed me asking if I would be interested in helping devise a custom tour of Ireland, visiting lighthouses and coastal scenes. I was pleased to help and we set about putting together a tour that would take in 85% of Ireland during the month of August 2015. They called themselves The Lighthousekeeters, and were no strangers to going off looking at lighthouses. They had been to Alaska and many parts of the States, but this was to be their first visit outside America

The tour began in Killarney where I picked them up. Paul Hartnett, brother to Tommy was doing the driving for the day and we soon struck up a bond of friendship with our guests as we sped them out to Knightstown on Valentia Island to stay at the Atlantic Villa B&B for the first of 2 nights. Leaving our luggage there we went over to Cromwell Point lighthouse for a guided tour

Cromwell PointCromwell PointCromwell Point lighthouse, Valentia Island, Kerry

The road descends steeply down to the lighthouse and can test the most skilled driver. The lighthouse is well worth a visit with magnificent scenery all around

The following day we went out to Skellig Michael. It was a choppy sea we crossed, and pretty unpleasant coming back. We needed a tarpaulin to shelter beneath as several waves splashed over us. However our visit to the rock was a great success

Helicopter at SkelligsHelicopter at SkelligsIrish Helicopters Eurocopter 135 being flown by Capt. John Mulkearns for the Commissioners of Irish Lights flying to the pad on Skellig Michael. In the background is the gannet colony of Little Skellig with Ballinskelligs Bay and the coast of the Iveragh Peninsula, Co. Kerry. In the foreground is the ancient monastic settlement on Skellig Michael

The above picture shows part of the monastic settlement with Little Skellig in the background. Also in the picture is the Irish Helicopters Eurocopter 135 which was servicing the lighthouse on Skellig Michael

TalkTalkOne of the resident OPW staff gives a talk on the lives of the monks who inhabited the monastic settlement on Skellig Michael

An OPW (Office of Public Works) employee giving a talk on the monastic settlement

After a good wander on the island looking at the monastic settlement and the puffins

Skellig MichaelPuffins and the lighthouse

The above video show the puffins and also the lighthouse which you don't see unless you ask the skipper of the boat to take you round to the west side of the island, something they don't normally do

We returned to the mainland and spent our second night at the Atlantic Villa. Then the following day we set off for Beara, going there via the Sheepdog Trials at Kells near Glenbeigh which is something I had never seen before

Sheepdog trialsSheepdog trials at Kells Co. Kerry

It was fun to watch the collies round up the sheep, obeying their master

And so to Beara to see the peninsula where I live and meet a lighthouse keeper for a great chat. We went for a tour of the peninsula and down to Dursey Sound. Alas there wasn't time to go across in the cable car as we had a long journey ahead of us, going first to Gougane Barra

Gougane BarraGougane BarraThe chapel on the lake in Gougane Barra, the source of the River Lee which flows through Cork city on the way to the sea

the church on the island, where a wedding was taking place. I hasten to add this was not taken on the day we went there. I didn't get out of the bus as it was lashing it down so much. The poor wedding couple, I felt sorry for them

And then it was down to Crookhaven for two nights.

The following day we went on a boat trip to the Fastnet

Rounding the FastnetRounding the FastnetYacht rounding the Fastnet

Yacht rounding the Fastnet. The skipper of the boat, 'The Blue Thunder' commentated that I had picked the perfect day. It was raining the day before and the following day a hurricane blew in. The day we went as the above picture shows it was almost flat calm and I was rewarded with a sailing boat. So we was very lucky

Fastnet chatFastnet chatMichael O'Driscoll telling us about the Fastnet lighthouse

Michael O'Driscoll talking to my group about the Fastnet. Michael operates out of Schull and is by far the best way to go to the Fastnet, and has helped me get there many times over the years.

Visiting the Fastnet lighthouseVisiting the Fastnet lighthousel-r Dave, Vernon, Vicky, Jackie, Brenda and Kathleen on the Blue Thunder boat piloted by Michael O'Driscoll leaving the Fastnet lighthouse

Returning from the Fastnet, Dave, Vernon, Vicky, Jackie, Brenda and Kathleen

After a visit to the Mizen we returned to our B&B near the village of Crookhaven. That evening we walked into the village for fish and chips and also out to view Crookhaven lighthouse. We met up with a couple of locals who were out for an evening stroll and we thought we would wait to see if the light would come on at the lighthouse. It was a longer wait than any of us expected, but we hung around and finally got what we were looking for

Crookhaven lighthouse all lit up after dark

The following day we drove over to Galley Head lighthouse for a couple of nights. I love this place, and take many people there. The Attendant is Gerald Butler who goes out of his way to be helpful and welcoming giving us lots of information about the lighthouse and also a slide show

Galley HeadGalley HeadGalley Head lighthouse near Clonakilty on the south coast of County Cork

Galley Head lighthouse

Galley Head on the south coast of IrelandThe video show the view from the balcony during the day and the lantern switched on at night

The above is a video I shot showing the view from the balcony and the lantern room first during the day and then after dark. Please note I muted the sound at the start of the video due to excessive wind which made recording sound impossible. I am very pleased with the way the night video turned out showing the reflected light of the lantern like going through a room full of mirrors. I can't wait to go back. I have the place booked for next June for the Southern Irish Lighthouse Tour 2016

After Galley Head we headed east visiting first Roche's Point then over to Youghal and then to the Hook

Hook HeadHook HeadHook Head the oldest working lighthouse

It was quite blowy at the Hook which made for some interesting pictures. We spent the night at the Hook Head B&B where Ann O'Shea gave us a very welcoming stay in her charming B&B.

The following day was not great weather wise, but we made the best of it as we headed north to the Rock of Cashel

Rock of CashelRock of Cashel

Inside the Rock of Cashel which is being dried out, a long process as it cannot be done too quickly in case the stones are damaged

We then headed up to Glendalough which was a total washout. My friends got soaked as they went photographing, such a pity but they didn't mind. They told me rain was a novelty to them in Southern California.

We spent two nights at Coolakay B&B at Enniskerry, where we did such things as visit Powerscourt waterfall

PowerscourtPowerscourtPowerscourt waterfall

Powerscourt Waterfall one of the highest in Ireland

We then headed up to Dún Laoghaire to visit the Maritime Museum before going to The Baily for a tour of the lighthouse

The BailyThe BailyThe Baily lighthouse watching over Dublin Bay

The Baily

Baily lanternBaily lanternThe lantern room at the Baily lighthouse, picture by John Eagle

Beneath the lantern at the Baily which watches over shipping coming and going from Dublin Port

We then headed north to the Hill of Tara, which we had a job finding as it was getting dark

Hill of TaraHill of Tara

Hill of Tara

before going to our B&B at Rostrevor in Northern Ireland. We arrived very late. I think our host was a bit worried that we might not arrive at all. When we pulled up outside her door at almost midnight Tommy our bus driver called out to her 'Good morning' which at once put a smile on her face.

The following day we climbed the steep hill behind the B&B and also watched a meeting of pipe bands in the local park before going on our way up through the gorgeous countryside of County Down, visiting St. Johns on the way and going in to see the fog signal machine

Fog signalFog signalFog signal machine at St. Johns lighthouse Down

It is kept in perfect working order even though the fog sirens in Ireland have ceased to operate. Henry looks after this in a loving fashion and it was a joy to see it working. I helped by cranking up the motor then Henry got the machine going

St. Johns fog siren machineA beautifully kept machine for generating the fog signal at St. Johns Point lighthouse in County Down, one of several kept in perfect working order even though the fog signals are no longer used in Ireland

I shot several clips for the above video and then put them together. I hope you enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed filming it

Three nights we spent at Blackhead lighthouse perched on a cliff looking out across the Irish Sea to Scotland. While we were there we made a few jaunts, one of them to the Giant's Causeway, and another into Belfast to Glenabbey

GlenabbeyGlenabbeyGlenabbey Church, Belfast

Glenabbey was a new experience for me, an airy modern church with a totally different way of celebrating mass to what I am used to. There was a rock band on the altar with the words to the songs pasted on the wall above them

We met some people at the service who suggested a nice place in Carrickfergus for lunch, then a friend of theirs called Paul gave us a spirited talk and walk round the castle and town

Paul came with us on a tour of Antrim, and one of the highlights was seeing the waterfalls in Glenariff

Ess-na-Crubb makes a lot of noise

Ess-na-Laragh is totally awesome involving a walk up a ravine to see this gurgling churning force of water

Leaving Blackhead we returned to the South going to Buncrana in Donegal to see where John Newton came ashore after being shipwrecked. He wrote 'Amazing Grace', once a slave trader he changed his ways and became involved in the abolition of slave trading

Crossing over on the ferry from Buncranna we made out way to Fanad lighthouse

Fanad Head lighthouseFanad Head lighthouseThe Kathy Reid tour group on the helicopter pad at Fanad Head lighthouse, Co. Donegal

Dave, Vernon, Vicky, Kathleen, Brenda and Jackie at Fanad which is looking really nice after a lick of paint. We hope it is opening shortly so we can all go and stay there

Our bed for the night was at the Sandhouse near Donegal.

The following day we went off to see the Slieve League which are the highest cliffs in Ireland

Slieve LeagueSlieve LeagueSlieve League Ireland's highest cliffs, Co. Donegal

The Slieve League, in Donegal are free to visit and amazing to look at

We headed south to Rosses Point after looking at the cliffs and spent the night at the Yeats Country Hotel. On the way there we stopped off at Carney near Sligo because Jackie's maiden name is Carney. There was traditional Irish music to be heard in Austies at Rosses Point

AustiesAustiesMusic session in Austies, Rosses Point, Sligo

Traditional Irish music being played at Austies

Leaving Sligo in the morning we drove down through Mayo into Connemara for our night's stay at Abbeyglen Castle Hotel

Abbeyglen CastleAbbeyglen CastleAbbeyglen Castle Hotel, Clifden, Connemara

Abbeyglen Castle at night

AbbeyglenAbbeyglenSupper at Abbeyglen was a gorgeous affair, a meal we shall all remember for a long time to come. The manager of the hotel Brian Hughes took the picture. l-r Jackie, Vernon, John Eagle, Kathleen, Dave, Tommy, Vicky and Brenda

Supper at Abbeyglen Castle Hotel in Clifden

Abbeyglen CastleAbbeyglen CastleAbbeyglen Castle Hotel, Clifden, Connemara

During the day. Lovely weather greeted us the following day, we were obviously doing something right. At home in Beara it was lashing it down

DonkeysDonkeysDonkeys in Connemara near Clifden

A drive along the Sky Road followed, we went the wrong way and had to back track and were rewarded with these lovely donkeys

Then we went south to Roundstone where the weather was totally different, sunny one minute and frantic showers the next, still that meant rainbows and I got a super one in Roundstone harbour

RoundstoneRoundstoneRainbow at Roundstone, Co. Galway

Rainbow in Roundstone

After Roundstone we went to visit the Quiet Man bridge

Quiet Man BridgeQuiet Man BridgeTommy Hartnett's bus going over the bridge made famous by John Wayne

The Quiet Man bridge in the wilds of Connemara, made famous by John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara. Here is our bus driven by Tommy Hartnett going over it

We followed the coast to Galway for our night in the Galway Bay Hotel, right next door to a fairground. I treated Vernon to a spin in the big ferris wheel and did a video with the Iphone which I uploaded to Youtube and then deleted by accident. So we just have the memory of riding high above the twinkling lights of Galway

In the morning we made our way to the Burren, where we went for a tour inside Ailwee Caves

Ailwee CavesAilwee CavesInside Ailwee Caves in the Burren of Co. Clare

Inside Ailwee Caves

Our bed for the next three nights was at Loop Head lighthouse

Loop HeadLoop HeadLoop Head lighthouse in Co. Clare

Loop Head lighthouse late afternoon

Loop HeadLoop HeadLoop Head lighthouse in Co. Clare

and all lit up as the remains of the sunset fade away

During our stay at Loop Head we went to Doolin for a boat trip on the Happy Hooker

Happy HookerHappy HookerOne of the Doolin Ferries that sails to the Aran Islands, seen here arriving at Inisheer pier

The Happy Hooker docking at the pier at Inis Oirr

During our time on the island we went for a pony and trap ride

PlasseyPlasseyThe wreck of the Plassey, made famous by Father Ted where it can be seen on the intro to the tv comedy

The Plassey which features in the intro to the tv comedy Father Ted on Inis Oirr

Pony and trapPony and trapOur pony and trap on Inisheer (inis Oirr) the southern most Aran Island with the lighthouse behind

Visiting the lighthouse at Inis Oirr (Inisheer) is Sam the horse with Eanna at the reins. Standing at the back is Tommy, in the cart Dave, Vicky, Jackie, Brenda, Vernon and Kathleen

Leaving Clare we crossed over the Shannon, passing Tarbert lighthouse on the way, then headed south to Tralee to sample some of the atmosphere connected with the Rose of Tralee. I think we were all surprised to find so few people in the town. I sat listening to music being pumped out by some female DJ and there was hardly anyone around. It was finals night and the place was like a ghost town

We headed out to Fenit to keep an appointment to visit Little Samphire Island for one of the best lighthouse tours in Ireland

Little SamphireLittle SamphireLittle Samphire Island lighthouse in Tralee Bay

Little Samphire Island lighthouse

My third visit to the lighthouse this year, my first was in January to accompany a Wild Atlantic Way official, then with the Southern Irish Lighthouse tour in June. The tour ranks high in my list, up there with the tours of the Baily and Galley Head because we get to see the lantern room and are shown round by someone who knows what he is talking about rather than by a young lad doing something for his school holidays

Our bed for the last two nights of the tour were at Heatons B&B in Dingle

While in Dingle we went for the popular boat trip to see Fungie

FungieFungieFungie the dolphin in Dingle harbour

Fungie the dolphin. He has patrolled the harbour's mouth to Dingle for 33 years

Also while we were in Dingle we went to St. James Church for a folk music concert. This is the place where such famous music legends as Steve Earle and Amy Winehouse have performed

This video was shot with my Iphone and is not of the same quality as those shot with my Canon 5D mk3 but hopefully you will enjoy it

l-r Eoin Duignan, Damien Mullane and Donogh Hennessey

Folk concertFolk concert

It was a great way to end a really great tour.

Kathy and I had lunch with Vicky today and Vicky mentioned how when people return from vacations they are glad to be back.  But with us there was some sadness that is was over.  I forwarded your email with the blog address to the others.  Hope it all turns out well for you.  Our friends ask us how was our vacation.  One of the things I tell them is none of us has a negative thing to say about our time in Ireland. Dave Reid

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]]> (John Eagle Photography) Fastnet Galley Head Irish lighthouse lighthouses tours Sun, 23 Aug 2015 01:29:53 GMT