Light Hearted

Light Hearted ep 212 – Roie McCann, Clare Island Lighthouse, Ireland

Clare Island is at the entrance to Clew Bay, off Ireland’s western Atlantic coast. It’s the largest of Clew Bay’s 365 islands, only six of which are inhabited year-round. It rises to a height of 1520 feet and is an important breeding ground for seabirds. The family of the legendary pirate queen Grace O’Malley owned the island during the Middle Ages, and many of the O’Malley clan are buried at an abbey on the south side of the island.

Clare Island Light Station, Ireland. Photos courtesy of Sherry FitzGerald Limited 

The island’s original lighthouse was built in 1806, but it was damaged by fire seven years later due to the careless disposal of candle wicks by the keeper. A new lighthouse was built in 1818, serving until it was decommissioned in 1965. A German pathologist, Goesta Fischer, bought the property in 2008 in partnership with Roie McCann, an interior designer.

After five years of renovation, Clare Island Lighthouse was opened in 2013 as a luxury boutique hotel. It won an award as Europe’s Best Coastal Boutique Hotel in 2016. The property is now for sale. Roie McCann, general manager of Clare Island Lighthouse, is interviewed in this episode.

Roie McCann at Clare Island Lighthouse. Photo by Conor McKeown.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.