Festival To Shine A Light On Maritime Matters At World’s Oldest Lighthouse

A fun-filled festival set to shine a light on all things maritime will get underway at the world’s oldest original working lighthouse on the Hook Peninsula County Wexford this May bank holiday weekend.


An action-packed weekend of festivities will get underway from Saturday, May 5th from 12 noon. Join in the fun and games for all the family with games and entertainment from The Wobbly Circus. Younger visitors will also have the chance to join in pirate fun and games with the resident Pirate Pat and Captain Hook and a combat school and medieval games will be on offer from Montague Heritage or for the ‘bigger adventurous kids’ can try out the climbing wall and activities. A craft market featuring pieces from crafters based all across the southeast region will also be hosted over the weekend.

Festival To Shine A Light On Maritime Matters At World's Oldest Lighthouse

Pictured at Hook Lighthouse in County Wexford are Ryan Lynch (age 7), Molly Lynch (age 9) and Ava Lynch (age 6). See www.hookheritage.ie. Picture: Patrick Browne

On Sunday, May 6th, a focus will also be placed on maritime life and the environment, in the festival marquee a series of free talks will be on offer from the experts at Leave No Trace, Ecologist and Senator Grace O’Sullivan will host a talk on marine environmental sustainability, a Smoked Salmon demonstration by award-winning local Company Ballyhack Smokehouse and the RNLI will offer free life jacket safety checks.


The festival weekend places a large emphasis on sea safety at what is typically the beginning of the bathing and boating season and throughout the weekend an opportunity to learn first hand about safety at sea with free demonstrations on offer from members of the Irish Coast Guard and voluntary rescue services.


Also on Monday afternoon, a ‘Naturalist Marine Nature Walk’ will be on offer and lead by nature heritage expert Jim Hurley, the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group will also host a talk in the afternoon at the festival marquee and a Smoked Salmon demonstration will be on offer by Ballyhack Smokehouse.


As the weekend comes to an end members of the public are invited to the cobbled yard under the lighthouse to take a moment to reflect and remember all those lost at Sea, On Monday May 7th at 4pm a Pipers Lament will be performed by a member of the New Ross Pipe Band.


Throughout the weekend the Hook Lighthouse team will also place a focus on the heritage and past of Hook Lighthouse, shining a light on life as it was at this, the world’s oldest operational lighthouse. Commenting on the upcoming festival weekend, Manager at Hook Lighthouse Ann Waters said, “We are counting down to another Shine A Light Festival, this year we have added more heritage and nature talks to our programme with experts from across the country joining us for these free events at Hook Lighthouse. This festival is always a fantastic weekend of fun for all the family with the added benefit of placing an important focus on safety at sea and reminding us of the great work our emergency service teams carry out alongside the beacon of safety that is Hook Lighthouse.


The Shine A Light festival takes place in conjunction with the Great Lighthouses of Ireland, ‘Shine a Light’ events over the May bank holiday weekend whereby 12 lighthouses around Ireland including Hook Lighthouse will shine a light and celebrate and share the rich tradition and work that they of carry out daily.

Also taking place on the Hook Peninsula over the weekend is the annual ‘Hike to the Hook’ event organised by Hook Tourism, walkers will take on a 20km walk along one of Ireland’s most scenic routes from Tintern Abbey to Hook Lighthouse on Saturday, May 5th.

Tours are on offer at Hook Lighthouse 7 days a week, visitors to the 800-year-old lighthouse can take a step back in time on a guided tour and learn of the story of St. Dubhan and his fellow fifth Century Monks, the greatest Knight that ever lived William Marshall and hear the stories from the Lightkeepers themselves. For all of the festival details in Wexford see www.hookheritage.ie and for details on the Great Lighthouses of Ireland see www.greatlighthouses.com

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