ROMEO's visited the Baily Lighthouse - September 2013
Author: Pat Murphy Posted on: 30/10/13 Print Version


The Romeo's
Report by Pat Murphy
Photos by Pat and Tony McCarthy

They are off again; Gerry O'Neill's ROMEOs (Retired Old Men Eating Out) had the first outing of their 2013/2014 monthly programme when they visited the Baily Lighthouse followed with lunch at the National Yacht Club on Thursday 26th September.

With limited parking facilities at the Baily a major transport operation was put into action to transport 22 personnel to the venue for 11 o'clock.

On arrival we were met by Frank Pelly the Curator for Irish Lights and his able assistant Des Sharkey.

Baily Lighthouse
After the inevitable group photographs Frank explained that the first brazen fire light was situated much higher up the Head but due to the inherent weather conditions, when on many occasions due to mist and fog the light could not be seen, it was eventually located on its current site. However to the surprise of all, Frank explained that originally the promontory on which it stands was separated from the mainland. He showed us a very old painting showing a rope type bridge across the void to the lighthouse.

A section of the Museum

Chief Romeo Gerry O'Neill and Frank Dillon in the Museum
The very informative and interesting tour was divided into four distinct parts, the first being the external history and exhibits, the second being the ascending to the top of the Lighthouse, thirdly the museum with its exhibits of the various service ships used and the development of lights and sound signals over the years and finally the tour concluded when everybody gathered in the board room for the concluding wealth of details and interesting additional information conveyed by Frank and Des.

Pheumatic Fog Signal

Universal Sundial (c 1800)
For parts two and three the group were divided into two, with Des guiding the tour to the top of the Lighthouse while Frank covered the Museum. Despite the bad fog that existed on the day the entire visit to the Lighthouse and its adjacent terrain was most interesting and very enjoyable. We highly recommend a visit.

On top of Lighthouse in fog. Des Sharkey, assistant Curator, in yellow.
The original planned means of transport from Howth to Dun Laoghaire for lunch was to be by the new ferry service operated by Dublin Bay Cruises. However due to the heavy fog it was cancelled and as a result the Dart was brought into use.

The Landing Stage

The Water Tank

The Watertank Makers 1894
A 23rd ROMEO joined us for a very pleasant lunch in the National Yacht Club and so ended the first of their 2013/2014 programme of monthly outings. For their next outing on the 12th November they are extending their range when they take to the air to visit the Duxford Aviation Museum in England.