Visitors to the lighthouse may have taken a quick stroll to the end of the road and wondered what the concrete slabs were once used for.
These are the remnants of the WW2 Lookout station used for keeping an eye on the ships ensuring they passed the area in safety. The raised slab with the steps up to it was the ammo store for the fog horn.
When the lighthouse foghorn was taken out of service in 2011 it was an electric horn but before that it was operated by compressed air. Previous to that it was rockets or explosive charges set off from an extendable arm at the top of the tower. Finally or firstly, the reason there was an ammo store, the warning signal given during fog for decades was by means of a cannon located between the ammo shed and the lookout station. This was fired once every 10 minutes.
The lookout station was one of 83 around the country in use from September 1939 to June 1945. They were manned by members of the Local Defence Force. The watched for military activity which was recorded in a log book and reported by phone.
Accompanying these stations were large signs made of whitewashed rocks indicating the station number and the word “Eire” to denote neutral Ireland. This can be seen in the old aerial photograph courtesy of the Irish Defence Forces Archive’s Flickr. And for those budding historians one of the log books is available through this map.