Gillick's World: Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way Re-published August 2015 - Page 29

The Power of Mizen Head Mizen Head, in the County of Cork, is the most southwesterly point of Ireland, and noted for its ultra-dramatic views of the Wild Atlantic crashing against the cliffs. At the very tip of the peninsula, there is a lookout, as well as a weather station, a lighthouse and a signal station that is now a museum. This is accessible by 99 steps leading from the mainland Visitor Centre to the Arched Bridge that spans some of the wild waves and offers great photographs. I was fortunate to meet with Sue Hill who owns the Heron’s Cove Bed & Breakfast in Goleen-about 5 km from Mizen Head. As the Development Officer for Mizen Head, she has been front and centre in promoting this tourist, historic, adventure, nature attraction as a perfect representation of what the Wild Atlantic Way is all about. Sue arranged for Stephen O’Sullivan, the Manager and a former light keeper, to give me a personal tour of the Visitor Centre, the walkways, the museum and lookout areas, and I will say that it was breathtaking! This was the place where Guglielmo Marconi set up one of his first telegraph stations, and this is the ‘teardrop of land’ that was the last landfall seen by Irish emigrants to North America. The light of the Fastnet Lighthouse can be seen for 19 miles. For those sailing from America to Europe, this was the first landfall to be seen. As you wander the sometimes steep trails, it’s not only the vistas of the sea that mesmerize but also the wildlife (dolphins, whales, seals, sharks) and the birdlife (gannets, kittiwakes and choughs). Displays include life as a light keeper, shipwrecks, a weather station and the history of the area. See also the back cover