Keepers leave Eagle Island off the coast of Mayo for the last time as the lighthouse there becomes automated.

The Eagle Island Lighthouse has been manned since the 1830s and today marks the end of an era as keepers Billy Heneghan, Dillon McCarthy and Mick Barry bid farewell to their workplace. 

The Eagle Island keepers have been involved in countless sea dramas and rescues over the years. 

Eagle Island is a 22-acre rock outcrop which rises a sheer 200-feet from the storm-tossed Atlantic.

There are still seventy five lighthouses around the Irish coastline but after the automation of Eagle Island, only eighteen remain manned. The Commissioners for Irish Lights plan to have all lighthouses automated by 1995. 

The great light on Eagle Island is still flashing its reassuring beams seawards but ships passing in safety or distress will never again be able to hear the reassuring voices of its keepers.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 1 April 1988. The reporter is Jim Fahy.