My name is Treasa Lynch and I put this site together when I realised there wasn’t an easily accessible list of the remaining EIRE signs available anywhere. When I started the project initially, I hoped to find around 12 signs still in place. At this point in time, I’m aware of 21 in varying states of repair. The site in Mizen Head is in the very worst state of all; the sign on Saint John’s Point while comparatively complete, is barely visible on a map.
Several sites are starting to suffer damage owing to coastal erosion – Portacloy in Mayo is an example as is, in fact, the aforementioned Saint John’s Point. The sign at Mizen Head is little more than one letter and some stones.
Three sites have been renovated, namely Loop Head in County Clare which isn’t yet to be seen on satellite imagery, Baltimore in Cork and Melmore Head in Donegal. The numbers have disappeared from several sites.
I believe at least 84 signs were put in place in the 1940s and possibly more. In many respects, the 1940s isn’t that long ago, in many others, it is two generations ago. There cannot be many people left alive who worked the days on the coastal watch. While I recognise the impossibility of retaining all these sites, I believe it is important that we retain a few at least. They served several purposes. Folk memory, I am told from Brandon Point in Kerry, suggests the locals were told to build them to warn German pilots not to bomb this particular spit of rock which was neutral. The addition of the LOP numbers made them very clearly a navigational aid however, rather than a keep out sign.
I have only seen two signs in real life. The site in Malin Head is possibly the best known site at this point in time, but the marking near Black Head in County Clare is visible from the road. The work done in Loop Head has been the subject of a lot of media interest as well.
I’ve reviewed a lot of satellite imagery of the east coast looking for them there. I have seen photographs of the sign in Cahore Point so am sure they existed. But they are no longer in situ, possibly because the land was more valuable to be ploughed or built upon. There is a windfarm on Carnsore Point.
There are a couple of stages to this project:
- Identify the still existing sites visible from the satellite map services
- Provide the coordinates for the still existing sites
- Review the LOP log books in the military archives for mention of the building of the sites.
- Collect photographs of previously existing signs either from the 1940s and 1950s
If anyone has any information from family memory about the building of the signs, or, particularly, information regarding where more than one sign may have been built for a LOP as was the case for Slieve League and Achill Island, I’d really appreciate it. I’d particularly appreciate a clue as to where the second site on Achill Island is/was. I cannot find it. Given that I located the sign – practically invisible – on Saint John’s Point – it is hurting my pride that I might have missed this one.