Memories of Clare Island when the lighthouse was a major part of life there.

'Hill Walks' visits Clare Island off the coast of County Mayo and joins a group of walkers. 

In this clip from the programme, walkers Ciara Cullen, Anna and Peter Gill, Dr Peter Coxon (Geography Department at Trinity College Dublin) and Michael Vinney (Environmentalist and Irish Times journalist) meet local man Chris O'Grady who runs the local ferry and hotel. Their meeting point is the Clare Island lighthouse. 

This old lighthouse holds many pleasant memories for me.

Chris O'Grady's father had been employed by Irish Lights to supply the lighthouse and its keepers with all the equipment required to keep the service going. The lighthouse was originally built by the Marquess of Sligo. The old tower was built in 1805 at a time when a turf fire was used at the top of the tower as a guiding light. The new tower was built in 1907 and was in use until 1965 and the lighthouse families moved on. For Chris O'Grady the closure of the lighthouse was a great loss to the island.

It was part and package of island life for so many years.

Chris O'Grady got to know the lighthouse families and went to school with some of the lighthouse children.

When you stepped outside the door of a house on the island at night, you'd see these huge beams of light sweeping over.

'Hill Walks' is a series of programmes which follows the route of walks in the Irish countryside. The programme is presented and produced by Jim Sherwin.

This episode 'Hill Walks: Clare Island' was broadcast on 6 October 1993.