Lighthouses and lightships throughout the world, including in countries as far away as Japan, were contacted by members of the Limerick Clare Amateur Radio Club from Loop Head Lighthouse Experience over the weekend.
The amateur ham radio enthusiasts from across the Mid-West had gathered at the West Clare lighthouse as part of the 26th annual International Lighthouse/Lightship Weekend (ILLW).
During the 48-hour weekend broadcast, visitors to the lighthouse were able to listen in to communications with amateur radio stations across the world. Of particular interest was the contact with many of the 500 lighthouses and lightships in over 40 countries that were also activated by amateur radio enthusiasts over the same period.
Contact was made with all continents and operators in Japan and Australia were particularly keen to get in touch. Contact was also made with an operator in Alaska, and this was the highlight of the weekend as that location is one of the most sought-after locations worldwide.
Leonard Cleary, Director of Tourism Development and West Clare Municipal District, Clare County Council, said, “We were delighted to be able to host the Limerick Clare Amateur Radio Club at the historic Loop Head lighthouse Experience. Members of the Club reported being very happy with the number and variety of contacts made and feedback from visitors about this additional feature to the Experience was very positive.”
Dermot Gleeson, Chairman of the Limerick Clare Amateur Radio Club, commented, “The Club has always enjoyed its visits to Loop Head and this year was no different, despite the challenging weather! The Club operated two stations, one of which was located at the entrance to the Lighthouse so members of the public could listen to some of the transmissions, and this proved to be popular. A special QSL Card (confirmation of communication) was designed to mark the event, and this will be issued to the hundreds of stations contacted in over 60 countries thus ensuring that Loop Head is firmly on the international map.”
He added, “We are very grateful to all of the staff of Clare County Council and the Commissioners of Irish Lights for their help in planning this event and for allowing us to use the grounds as part of the International Lighthouse and Lightships Weekend.”
Loop Head Lighthouse Experience is one of 17 Great Lighthouses of Ireland, an all-island tourism initiative of Irish Lights. Located at the mouth of the Shannon Estuary with its origins dating back to the 1670s, the lighthouse was first opened to visitors in 2011 and has since become one of West Clare’s most popular attractions. The lighthouse also is one of two Signature Discovery Points in County Clare along the route of the Wild Atlantic Way.
For more information on the International Lighthouse and Lightships Weekend please see www.illw.net. Visit www.limerickclareamateurradioclub.ie for more information about the Limerick Clare Amateur Radio Club.
Loop1: . No repro fee.
Loop2: Loop Head Lighthouse In County Clare. No repro fee