The Fanad Peninsula separates Lough Swilly from Mulroy Bay on the northern coast of County Donegal. A striking feature of the peninsula is the lighthouse that marks the western entrance to Lough Swilly from the sea.
This Fanad head lighthouse was proposed after the tragic shipwreck of the HMS Saldanha on the rocks in 1812. All hands were lost in the shipwreck. The only survivor was the ship’s parrot who was found with a silver collar inscribed with the ship’s name.
The lighthouse was finished in 1817 and first lit on St. Patrick’s Day. It shone a red light 14 miles out to sea and a white light toward Lough Swilly. The lighthouse was converted to electric operation in 1975 and was automated in 1983.
Fanad Head Lighthouse is one of the most beautiful lighthouses in the world, and in it’s dramatic setting, is one of the highlights of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way.