West Ireland | County Mayo
Blacksod Lighthouse is situated on the south east corner of the Mullet Peninsula in county Mayo. This lighthouse as a building is quite unusual. It is two storey massive house (made in 1864/65 of local reddish grey granite), with the white, small square lighthouse tower centered on the top. The first light was established in 30th June 1866 (showing fixed white from 210º to 018º and red over Ardelly Point 189º to 210º). The first improvements came in 1931, the light source was changed from an oil lamp to acetylene burners, and the character was changed from fixed white and red to group flash white and red every 7.5 seconds. On 31st May 1967 was converted to electric and was equipped with diesel electric generator if the electricity failed. In 1989 the building was partly damaged by storm, but it has been rebuilt and is still inhabited. The Sweeney family has kept watch on the light for over the last 80 years, and Edward "Ted" Sweeney who was appointed as the Attendant on the 1st November 1933 is a Legend. During the Second World War Edward Sweeney was providing the weather information from Blacksod to Dublin. Once, he was asked for additional weather report, it was the forecast that determined the date of Operation Overlord and Operation Neptune (leading to the allied Invasion of Normandy in 1944, commonly known as D-Day). In 2013, director Paul Murphy filmed a short movie titled "The Weather Report", which is the story built around mysterious phone call to lighthouse keeper Ted Sweeney. The film was shown and awarded on many festivals in Ireland. Mr Sweeney was also the local Post Master, and ineresting fact is that during the time between 1969 and 1972 he was given permission to set up the Post Office in the one of the lighthouse's rooms (there was some problem with local Post Office premises at that time). Fergus Sweeney, his grandson dedicated him documentary movie titled "Keepers of the Light" which tells the story of Blacksod Lighthouse and duties undertaken by Edward Sweeney and then his son Vincent. On 27 July 1969, englishman Tom McClean, arrived to Blacksod Bay as a first man who rowed the Atlantic Ocean alone (in just 70 days from Newfoundland, Canada to Blacksod in county Mayo, Ireland).