Harbour Sentinel – Hook Lighthouse

This weekend we commemorate the loss of the ships SS Formby and SS Coningbeg in December 1917.  It’s a topic I covered last week with a view to promoting the commemoration this weekend.  In thinking about the sailors who perished this week I came to realise that the last sight of the harbour the crew would have ever seen was the lighthouse at the end of the eastern tip of their home harbour. So today rather than the event itself, I thought I might blog about the sentinel that lights the harbour.

The Hook, as I guess most locals call it, was often the last sight of home for my mother also, as she sailed away to work in England on the SS Great Western. Many, she told me, would delay at the ships rails, watching the light slip away, their last tangible link with home until they, if fortunate, would be back again at Christmas or for a short summer break.

A Clyde shipping promotional poster of a ship rounding the Hook. 
Unfortunately its an artists impression of the Hook!
Photo courtesy of Paul O’Farrell

One of my earliest childhood memories was listening to the long moaning sound of the fog horn that reverberated around the harbour and was clear to be heard on our perch on the hillside of Coolbunnia. As older children we were often out walking the roads at night and the light was a familiar feature sweeping the skyline, and in particular when it reflected off low lying cloud. As we did not have a car at home a visit down to the the Hook was out of the question, and I suppose my first proper sight of it, must have come when I first went drifting for herring in the winter of 1983. Is there any better way to see a lighthouse?  David Carroll in a previous guest blog gave a lovely description of a 1960’s drive with his dad to the Hook from Dunmore.

The Hook, has been a beacon for sailors and fishermen since the 5th C AD. St Dubhan, on founding a monastery at Churchtown saw a need for a warning light and a fire was lit on the tip of the headland. Some say that’s where the name Hook derives from; Dubhan being Irish for a fish hook.
Following the Norman Invasion William Marshall saw the need to protect shipping heading into his port of New Ross and the Hook tower was constructed between 1210-30. Apparently the goodly monks again took on the light-keepers duties and so it remained until the dissolution and routing of the holy orders circa 1540.
In the 1670’s the light was reinstated, using coal, but also with a protective screen from the elements. 1791 saw a whale oil fueled lamp instated following repeated complaints from mariners.  1871 saw the introduction of Paraffin but it would be 1972 before electricity finally reached the outcrop.
via: http://www.irishlights.ie/tourism/our-lighthouses/hook-head.aspx
I’m old enough to remember the hue and cry nationally about the automation of the lights and the removal of men from the lighthouses, which finally happened at the Hook in 1996. Isn’t it incredible to think that for 1500 years the Hook was manned only for the tradition to stop due to an accountants abacus. In 2011, the fog horn was decommissioned, technology it was decided, can replace the human ear. In the last two years I noticed the latest change to this wonderful public institution. Someone, somewhere has decided that the strength of light from the hook is no longer required, and now when you walk the harbour the light is only visible from close by. No longer does it sweep the sky at Cheekpoint, and even from the Minaun its a stretch to witness it. If you don’t believe me travel to Dunmore East at dark, and look across the harbour.

Despite, or perhaps in spite, of the changes the Hook still endures as a powerful symbol. It has been a silent witness to thousands of ships and sailors down the millennia, a final farewell to home, a reassuring signal of safety.  How often those men of the Formby and Coningbeg must have stood at the rails giving thanks at rounding the Hook on a return trip during those bitter war years, when every journey was potentially their last.  How sad to think that 100 years ago this weekend they went to the bottom so far from home.

The Hook is now a major visitor attraction and Mark Power of Waterford Epic Locations has shot some wonderful footage of the Tower in all its glory https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lowH1T_5wJc

The details on the Hook light history was accessed from Hook heritage and specifically from the Hook timeline

For a more detailed reading on the history, you could read nothing better than Billy Colfer’s The Hook Peninsula pp 84-91.  You can buy it here from Kennys for €43.61.  Certainly make someones Christmas! And speaking of books for Christmas…
My book on growing up in a fishing village is now published.     
Book can be bought directly or from local stockists in Dublin, Wicklow, Wexford, Cork and Waterford. Get further details on the book, reviews, local stockists etc here

         

Ask a question to russianside@gmail.com

Or buy directly below: €18.50 Incl P&P to anywhere in the world

 

The Dunmore East lighthouse

Comparisons, it’s said, is the thief of joy.  So when it comes to the two lighthouses at either side of the mouth of the harbour, I would suggest that it is silly to choose one over the other. Hook light is much better known as the oldest working lighthouse in Europe, but its Dunmore counterpart has an interesting story in itself and for me its one of the most beautiful pieces of architecture we have in
East Waterford.
Dunmore (Dun Mhor, the big fort) has probably always been a fishing village, or at least those who landed up there, took part of their food supply from the waters thereabouts.  But its first harbour development of any merit was the work to facilitate the Mail Packet Station.

The Packets as they were called, (because mail in those days tended to be bulky packages of official correspondence) had been in use since Tudor times but the Waterford run was unofficial and thus an unreliable service.  The official Mail Packet Station was established at Cheekpoint in 1787. The service utilised small fast cutters which sailed between the harbour and Milford Haven and carried mail, freight and passengers. Seven ships worked a 6 day sailing schedule.  But the location at Cheekpoint led to complaints, as having sailed from England the boats had to negotiate strong tides and were at the mercy of contrary winds.

In 1813 the service was moved to Passage East as an interim measure but plans were already afoot to create a purpose built pier at Dunmore East to facilitate the packets.  Under the exacting eye of Alexander Nimmo (1783-1832) work commenced at Dunmore in 1814 and the packets started sailing from there in 1818 (sources differ on this).  However the lighthouse seems to have been an afterthought and a temporary light was installed whilst Nimmo set to work on what was his first and, from what I have read, only such building. Work commenced about 1820 and was completed by 1824 and became operational in 1825.

The tower is made of Granite, which contrasts beautifully against the old red sandstone that predominates in the breakwater and surrounding cliffs.  The tower is a fluted doric column which
stands 16 meters tall including the lantern. Initially the tower was whitewashed, but thankfully this was discontinued over a century ago.

Although the stone work is
beautiful, the cast iron lattice balcony also deserves attention.  This is of forged steel and is one of only two such examples in the country, but apparently follows the practice of other Scottish lighthouse builders like Robert Stevenson.  The lantern is constructed of metal with square windows and a weather vane completes it.

The light can be seen for 17 nautical
miles.  It was initially fueled by oil lamps and reflectors but this was replaced by acetylene in 1922 and it was electrified in 1964 using batteries and since 1981 it’s run off mains power, with a back up generator.

Via Jamie Malone 

In 1824 there was a report that the lighthouse keeper and his family were living locally because the accommodation at the tower was uninhabitable due to damp.  I’m unsure if this was at the tower itself, or in the square building that makes up what I always heard called the storehouse; the flat roofed building that is built around the seaward side.  The lighthouse keeper position was removed in 1922 and was replaced by an attendant.

Although Dunmore pier and lighthouse was built to accommodate the Mail Packet, the irony was that by 1824 steam powered vessels were already in use on the route.  As a consequence of the ability of such ships to journey against the tides and winds, campaigning began to move the packet once more, this time to the city and this occurred in 1835.  Dunmore reverted back into a fishing harbour and in Victorian times a tourist destination.    

Via Brendan Grogan

Perhaps because it is now integrated into the storm wall, or that a flat roofed store house surrounds the tower, the Dunmore lighthouse does not have the stoic isolated feel of other houses such as Hook.  But it’s a remarkable piece of architecture
and a testament to the vision and craftsmanship of Nimmo and his team.  Local photographers such as Jamie Malone and Brendan Grogan appreciate it. The Barony of Gaultier Historical Society use it on their Facebook page as a cover photo. And the Buildings of Ireland think highly of it too.  So if you havn’t already done so, next time you get a chance take a stroll along the breakwater and take a closer look.

I took information on the lighthouse from:
http://www.irishlights.ie/tourism/our-lighthouses/dunmore-east.aspx

Information on the packets via:
Antell. R.  The mails between South West Wales and Southern Ireland: The Milford-Waterford packet 1600-1850.  2011.  Welsh Philatelic Society.
Copies can be ordered directly by contacting the Welsh Philatelic Society, contact details on their website at http://www.wps.wales.org/

I publish a blog each Friday.  If you like this piece or have an interest in the local history or maritime heritage of Waterford harbour and environs you can email me at russianside@gmail.com to receive the blog every week.
My Facebook and Twitter pages are more contemporary and reflect not just heritage 
and history but the daily happenings in our beautiful harbour:  
F https://www.facebook.com/whtidesntales  T https://twitter.com/tidesntales

Menacing mines in Waterford Harbour

Floating mines were a feature of both World Wars.  Deployed at sea or around the coast, the target was primarily the shipping that sustained the allied side or to thwart naval incursions.  Although the sailors that suffered on merchant ships were non combatants, the mines also threatened those who fished and even those who lived beside the sea, and Waterford and Wexford endured its fair share.  

I
recently recalled the tragic loss of life at Dunmore East in 1917, when a
German U Boat was destroyed.  The U Boat, UC-44 was deploying mines at the mouth of the harbour between Dunmore East and
Hook Head in Co. Wexford.  At the time, it
was a regular occurrence, as was the efforts of the Admiralty to clear
them.    However the allies were
also deploying mines, most of the access points to the Northern and Southern routes
to the English coast were blanketed by minefields in a futile attempt to thwart
the U Boat menace. The first Irish casualty of the mines in WW I was the SSManchester Commerce which was sunk off Donegal 26th Oct 1914.  It would be the following July before the admiralty were satisfied that the estimated 200+ mines had been cleared from the area. Maintaining access to Waterford became a job of constant vigilance against the
mine laying subs, which included patrols by Sub Chasers, overhead surveillance
and constant clearing of the harbour by Mine Sweepers.

An American Sub Chaser anchored above Passage East.
The Americans entered the war in April 1917
Passed on to me by Paul O’Farrell
An interesting ancedote from the times

Mines
were also a feature of WWII but this time Ireland was neutral and the country was not directly targeted.  However, it was the Irish who mined Waterford
harbour at this stage, which operated between Passage East and Ballyhack from
1941. The mines were deployed in the channel,
and were operated by control from Ballyhack, known as command detonated mines.  If any threat was seen, the mines were to be detonated
by the shore watch. (1)  I’d
imagine the minefield was directed more towards protecting Ireland from a
German sea borne attack, which also led to something I’ve written about previously, the removal of all road signs
During WWII
mines became more sophisticated.  The German side were the first to
develop magnetic mines that detonated as a ship passed close to them. Mines
were also deployed from airplanes, which meant the seas around Ireland became a
target after the fall of France.  Mines were reported regularly from
ships, shoreline walkers and the lookout posts, operated by the Marine and Coast Watching Service from Sept 1939, that lined the coastline. (2)
Many
injuries and fatalities were associated with them.  When a mine beached on the other side of the
Hook at Cullenstown in 1941, four members of the LDF died and another was
injured.  While a lighthouse keeper on
Tuskar Rock died after a mine washed up and another man was injured.  19 men died (largest loss of life nationally)
when a mine was spotted on a Donegal beach in 1943.  While waiting for a bomb disposal team an onlooking crowd refused to move back to a safe distance. (3)
The Great Western in camouflage during WWII
Posted by Tommy Deegan on the Waterford History Group Facebook page

The above loss of life gives some context to the following story shared by Noreen
Kane on the Waterford History Group on 24th June 2016.  Its based on recollections of her dads (Liam
Lundon 1934 – 2009) childhood in Passage East

“Even though there was a war on school was fairly uneventful. There was one
particular incident when one morning my father who was the local Garda came in
to the school and informed the teacher that the school had to be evacuated as
a mine had been spotted on the strand directly underneath the school.
It was a glorious spring day we were all marched up the back road to Garret
Meades house. We spent the rest of the day there until the “all
clear” was given. To this day I don’t know how the mine was disposed
of”
The school at that time was further out the Crooke road, where the building still stands over looking the harbour. (It closed when the new school opened in 1969) But was the mine disposed of, or just made safe?  Graninne
Flanagan commented on our own Facebook page recently about an old mine that was
on the beach between Crooke and New Geneva, where apparently her mother used to picnic. My Brother in Law, Bernard Cunningham recalled the mine and said it was the same, his mother Eileen (RIP) often recalled the incident. That having been made safe it was left on the beach. However, it was removed in recent years by a scrap merchant.  I’ve also heard of another mine that beached at Passage and that was taken away which made the Munster Express in late 1941, and a virtual raft of other incidents down the harbour and all along the coast and along the Wexford shoreline.  They even travelled as far upriver as Mooncoin! There were questions asked in the Dail about a delay in clearing a mine from a packed Tramore Beach in the summer of 1941 and the naval vessel Muirchu was a frequent visitor, called to dispatch mines using gunfire to detonate the threat.
A major incident concerned the Barrow Bridge which had to be closed in March 1946 after a mine drifted too close to
the structure.  It was spotted by two
Cheekpoint men Heffernan and O’Connor. They reported the sighting to the Garda station in Passage East
and a unit from the Curragh was dispatched under Comdt. Fynes to deal with the
threat.  Locally it was always said that the boys had thrown a lasso
around the mine and towed it away from the bridge as a train approached, saving
countless lives as a result.
A
more sober account can be found in that weeks Kilkenny People.  The mine
grounded between Snow Hill Quay and Drumdowney Point as the tide went out and once settled on the mud, a rope was
tied around it, to prevent it floating away. (and no less heroic to my mind, if
a little less dramatic) Although the Boat train departed from Waterford that
evening, it was decided to close off the line to rail and shipping on the
Saturday. The
bomb disposal unit had to wait for the tide to go out before they approached
the mine. The unit managed to make safe the mine by 4pm that evening,
meaning the 5pm train could depart with safety.
My own
brush with a mine came while I was herring fishing in Dunmore East.  The details are sketchy I’m afraid, as I
could find no record in the newspapers.  However I remember a particularly
nasty SE wind and a trawler coming in off Dunmore, but refused entry.  The
trawler was being towed if I recall correctly.  The mine was trapped in
the nets and part of the nets had fouled the screw. Holding off Dunmore,
a team of army bomb disposal experts arrived in Dunmore that day.  I
vividly recall their energy and enthusiasm as they jumped out of a dark green
jeep with large kit bags and boarded the pilot boat Betty
Breen
to go out to the trawler.  However, they were back after an
hour, green in the face and much less energetic.  The trawler was sent
over under the Hook and the decision was taken to await a team from the Navy to
deal with the issue.
You might
think that such problems no longer exist.  However the most recent article
I could find for Dunmore was the Irish Independent of March 2005 and the most
recent nationally was August 2007 in the same paper, this time a mine trapped
in nets off Co Cork.  Be careful out there, you never know what secrets
the sea might give up, particularly on a stormy day.
 (1) & (2)   MacGinty.
T.  The Irish Navy.  1995.  The Kerryman. Tralee
 (3)        Kennedy. M. Guarding Neutral Ireland.  2008. Four Courts Press. Dublin

I publish a blog each Friday.  If you like this piece or have an interest in the local history or maritime heritage of Waterford harbour and environs you can email me at russianside@gmail.com to receive the blog every week.
My Facebook and Twitter pages are more contemporary and reflect not just heritage 
and history but the daily happenings in our beautiful harbour:  
F https://www.facebook.com/whtidesntales  T https://twitter.com/tidesntales

U Boat tragedy in Dunmore East

Standing on the breakwater at Dunmore East last night, I found it hard to try cast my mind back to the scene 99 years ago to the day. For on August 4th 1917 just after midnight an explosion ripped through the hull of a U Boat laying mines between Dunmore and the Hook. Three fishermen; Jack McGrath and two brothers Tom & Patsy Power, rowed out from the village in their fishing boat to assist1. Later that night they pulled the half dead captain of the submarine Kapitanleutnant Kurt Tebbenjoahnnes out of the water. From a crew of 30, he would be the only one to survive.
Once in Dunmore, Tebbenjoahnnes was cared for in the home of a Mrs Chester and was seen to by a Mr Austin Farrell. Later that morning he began his journey to London and life as a POW.
UC-44 lying at the quayside at Dunmore September
2017
accessed from:
http://www.warrelics.eu/forum/imperial-
germany-austro-hungary/german-u-boat-photos-postcards-156303/
Meanwhile a salvage operation was initiated under a Lieutenant Commander Davis. Divers (tin openers) were deployed, and entered the sub to bring up the U Boats papers and later cables were dropped from a surface vessel, brought under the sub and then brought back to the surface. At low tide, the cables were secured to the decks of two ships and when the tide rose, so did the submarine. Once the sub was sufficiently off the bottom, the salvage vessels moved towards Dunmore. In all it took twenty lifts and as a consequence of bad weather it would be September 25th before they reached harbour.
Salvage operation at Dunmore via Paul O’Farrell
Although the U boat sank, at least 3 of her crew, the Captain, Tebbenjoahnnes, and two engine room staff; Richter and Fahnster escaped. When the explosion happened they were in the conning tower, and were separated from the main craft. Their escape necessitated them opening the outer hatch and a swim to the surface that lay 90 feet above. All three broke the surface together, but eventually they drifted apart.
An intact mine being unloaded (1 of 9 remaining
aboard) note Dunmore
Lighthouse to the left.  via Paul
O’Farrell on the Waterford Maritime History page
Richter’s corpse washed up on Wexford shore in the following weeks and was buried in Duncannon and after the war re-interred in the German Military Cemetery at Glencree Co Wicklow. Apparently Joahnn Fahnster’s body was never recovered.
Of the remaining twenty seven souls little is known. There is a thread online claiming that 19 bodies were contained in the submarine when she reached Dunmore, undoubtedly the others would have washed out of the damaged hull. The reference for this claim is cited as Robert Grants book the U Boat Hunters. Some claim that in line with naval policy, they were taken out and buried at sea. It has been speculated that to inter so many in a cemetery on land would draw attention to the fact that the U-boat had been salvaged and thus lose an advantage to the German side. Many accounts don’t even mention the crew, their average age being 20! Perhaps seeing the crew list will make it more real.
Rank                Surname
Christian name
Matrose
BARTZ
John.
Ltnt.z.S.d.Res.
BENDLER
Wilhelm
O.Masch.Mt.
BIENERT
Fritz
Heizer
BORGWALDT
K:
Btsm.Mt.d.Res.
BÖTTCHER
A.
O.Matrose
BÜRGER
O.
Masch.Anw.
CLASEN
H.
Ob.Matrose
DÜSING
August
Ob.Masch.Mt.
FAHNSTER
Johann
Heizer
FEHRLE
Erwin
F.T.Gast
GIESENHAGEN
K.
T.Heizer
GOLOMBOWSKI
U.Maat
HEUER
Otto
Ob.Btsm.Mt.
HORAND
Hans
Matrose
IDSELIS
Michael
Heizer
KERSTEN
Heinrich
Masch.T.Mt.
KLEIN
Karl
F.T.O.Gast
KRÄMER
A.
O.Masch.Mt.
LEHMANN
R.
Masch.Mt.
MÜLLER
Heye D.
Ob.Btsm.Mt.
PABSCH
J.
Masch.Anw.
RICHTER
W.
Matrose
ROTTSCHALK
Walter
Masch.Mt.
RÖSLER
P.
Ob.Heizer
SCHICKENDANZ
W.
Steuermann
SCHULTER
J.
Masch.Mt.
SCHMITZ
F.
Mt.Ing.O.Asp.
SEIFARTH
Helmut
Matrose
ZIELOSKO
Emanuel
What actually happened to the German U Boat UC-44 that night is still a matter of some speculation and controversy. Some say she struck her own mine, some that there was a design flaw, or tampering with the mines, whilst others say she was destroyed by mines left from a previous deployment. Truth like so much else becomes another victim during war.
I left Dunmore wondering if anyone else looked out last night on the sea and thought about the incident. To date, nothing marks the event, or makes mention of the seamen or their plight. They were, after all, just doing their duty. Ordinary men called in a time of crisis to do extraordinary things. As much as we may have objected to their mission, surely a century later we can at least acknowledge that they existed. (Postscript, in 2017 the Barony of Gaultier Historical Society did remember the crew of UC44 and many others who lost their lives in the seas around Dunmore East during this turbulent era)
1 Joefy Murphy had a comment (posted below) that there may be confusion with the names. I heard recently that there may be been another Dunmore fishing boat in the area.
My thanks to Michael Farrell of the Barony of Gaultier Historical Society for providing the names of the Power brothers of Dunmore mentioned above. And to Ray Mcgrath for the name of his father also mentioned. Thanks also to Paul O Farrell for the photos and to Mick and Nicki Kenny for information on the crew list.
If you would like to read more, I have published two blogs on the incident itself and the aftermath
http://russianside.blogspot.ie/2016/02/the-dunmore-east-u-boat-trap.html
http://russianside.blogspot.ie/2016/02/dunmore-east-u-boat-trap-part-ii.html

If you like this piece or have an interest in the local history or maritime heritage of Waterford harbour and environs you can email me at tidesntales@gmail.com to receive the blog every week.
My Facebook and Twitter pages are more contemporary and reflect not just heritage
and history but the daily happenings in our beautiful harbour:
F https://www.facebook.com/whtidesntales  T https://twitter.com/tidesntales

The light that sweeps the harbour

One of my earliest childhood memories was playing with my siblings in the old house on the hill in Coolbunnia one chilly summer morning.  The scene was unsettling to us I remember, because our usual/familiar view of the harbour, the three rivers flowing our towards Dunmore and the Hook, was obliterated by an early morning fog.  The fog clung in a beady dampness to the sides of the harbour of which we were a part, only Buttermilk at Wexford and the Hurthill on the Waterford shore stood out, But the other feature that I recall was a moaning sound from down the harbour at Hook, A fog horn bleating out a warning to fishermen and sailors,  We mimicked it, and our voices echoed back, and soon we were unsure if it was us, or the Lighthouse at Hook making the warning sounds.
via: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hook_Head
Hook played another part in my childhood, as the beam, swept across the sky at night and I particularly remember being disappointed that it passed so quickly, much preferring in my mind a slow sweep like some searchlight in a prison camp in movies such as the Great Escape.   
The Hook, has been a beacon for sailors and fishermen since the 5th C AD.  St Dubhan, on founding a monastery at Churchtown saw a need for a warning light and a fire was lit on the tip of the headland. Some say that’s where the name hook, derives from; Dubhan being Irish for a fish hook.
Following the Norman Invasion, and the settling of the country by foreigners, William Marshall saw the need to protect shipping interests and the Hook tower was constructed between 1210-30. Apparently the goodly monks again took on the light-keepers duties.  So it remained until the dissolution and routing of the holy orders circa 1540.
In the 1670’s the light was reinstated, using coal, but also with a protective screen from the elements. 1791 saw a whale oil fueled lamp instated following repeated complaints from mariners.  1871 saw the introduction of Paraffin but it would be 1972 before electricity finally reached the outcrop.
via: http://www.irishlights.ie/tourism/our-lighthouses/hook-head.aspx
I’m old enough to remember the hue and cry nationally about the automation of the lights and the removal of men from the lighthouses, which finally happened at the Hook in 1996.  My father thought it a backward step and fumed about what he saw as accountants making decisions that affect sailors lives. I recall his anger and misery after a family drowning tragedy off Fethard. He was of the opinion that had the Light Keepers been at the Hook that day some lives may have been saved.  He was out that day in the same area fishing lobsters. I knew his pain was heightened in that he was reliving his own pain at loosing a son to the water.
In 2011, the fog horn was decommissioned, apparently technology can now replace the human ear.  At Christmas I noticed the latest change to this wonderful public institution. Someone, somewhere has decided that the strength of light from the hook is no longer required, and now when you walk the harbour the light is only visible from close by.  No longer does it sweep the sky at Cheekpoint, and even from the Minaun its a stretch to witness it.  If you don’t believe me travel to Dunmore East at dark, and look across the harbour.  A weak, meak light is what will greet you. Personally I think its an insult to the history and heritage to the light.  I don’t know why it’s happened, but I fear, like my father many years back, that an accountant may be involved.
Its still the most magical spot in the South East to my mind.  I’ve done the Lightouse tour every year, and we recommend it to anyone who asks where to go for a day trip.  The location, the onrushing Atlantic, the sweep of the horizon, the passing fishing boats and ships, the walk to Slade or the loop from Loftus Hall.  All combine to make the Hook one of the most wonderful locations in the South East, if not the country. 
Memories are made from interactions. The more dramatic, the more lasting. Such considerations are not part of the modern day decision making process however (although maybe they never were).  I just wish those who have control of the light would have a bit more respect for its history, its purpose and its future. Memories are what draws me back to the Hook, we need to ensure this generation can have those opportunities too.

I publish a blog each Friday.  If you like this piece or have an interest in the local history or maritime heritage of Waterford harbour and environs you can email me at russianside@gmail.com to receive the blog every week.
My Facebook and Twitter pages are more contemporary and reflect not just heritage 
and history but the daily happenings in our beautiful harbour:  
F https://www.facebook.com/whtidesntales  T https://twitter.com/tidesntales

The details on the Hook light history was accessed from Hook heritage and specifically from the Hook timeline locataed at: http://hookheritage.ie/index.php/the-lighthouse/timeline/

For a more detailed reading on the history, you could read nothing better than Billy Colfers The Hook Peninsula pp 84-91