Former RTÉ newsreader Anne Doyle has been announced as the guest host for the global gathering of Lighthouse Keepers at the world’s oldest operational lighthouse at Hook Head, the gathering is set to take place mid next month from the 13 to the 15 of September 2013.
The event is being hosted in co-operation with the commissioners of Irish Lights and on behalf of past lighthouse keepers of Hook Lighthouse
According to Manager at Hook Lighthouse, Ann Waters, “We are delighted that Anne Doyle has agreed to guest host this event for us. Hook Lighthouse has been described as the ‘grand-daddy of all lighthouses’ and we have a huge number of former Lighthouse keepers attending for this event, we hope to not only have a wonderful weekend but also to catalogue and document stories from old and preserve the heritage that makes our shores so rich.”
The gathering weekend commences on Friday September 13 with a free open evening at which The Honourable Loyola Hearn, Canadian Ambassador to Ireland, will attend and with a welcome address from the CEO of the Commissioners of Irish Lights Yvonne Shields and Chair of Hook Heritage Cllr. Larry O’Brien followed by entertainment from the Wexford Male Voice Choir and Soprano Emma Rochford.
Saturday, September 14 the Lighthouse Symposium will take place entitled ‘If Lighthouses Could talk!’ and hosted by Anne Doyle. The keynote speaker is Professor Kevin Whelan from Notre Dame University. Professor Whelan will offer an illustrated talk on Ireland in the Atlantic world focusing on mariners, merchants, migrants and lightkeepers. Other speakers include guests from the Northern Lighthouse Board of Scotland and representatives from the Commissioners of Irish Lights and Newfoundland. The last principle lighthouse keeper and current attendant at Hook Head, Tux Tweedy will be in attendance, as will other former lighthouse keepers.
The weekends highlight takes place on Saturday evening, a drinks reception will be hosted in the historic cobbled yard at Hook Lighthouse with entertainment by Danescastle Traditional Irish Music Group and the Doyle Academy of Irish Dance followed by a Seafood Buffet and after dinner entertainment provided by the Kennedy Sisters, John and Pip Murphy and the Walls. A fireworks display over the ancient landmark will bring the evening to a close.
In Sunday, September 16 a free family fun day is on offer with lots to enjoy for all the family including a showcase of coastal crafts and food producers, songs from the Hooks and Crooks sea shanties and entertainment from Bui Bolg stilt walkers and Claoimh medieval knights plus water zorbing, rope course, games, music and face painting.
Also, on Sunday morning Professor Kevin Whelan and Archaeologist Niall Colfer will conduct a historical guided bus or walking tour of the Hook Peninsula.
The 800-year-old lighthouse has a great history, it was built by William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke in the early 13th Century to guide ships safely around Hook Peninsula and has been attended by over 100 lighthouse keepers since around 1810 with the last keeper Tweedy, T.P. (Tux) keeping watch from 1990 to 1996 and currently attending the lighthouse which is automated with its’ beacon rotating 24 hours a day 365 days of the year.
For further details and to Book for events the Gathering of Lighthouse Keepers see hookheritage.ie