Limerick Radio Club to go on the air from Loop Head

Alan Owens

Reporter:

Alan Owens

LIMERICK Radio Club is to host a non-stop 48-hour marathon broadcast from Loop Head Lighthouse in Kilbaha.

LIMERICK Radio Club is to host a non-stop 48-hour marathon broadcast from Loop Head Lighthouse in Kilbaha.

The club, comprising members from Limerick, Clare, Kerry and Tipperary, will broadcast as part of the 15th International Lighthouse/ Lightship Weekend (ILLW) on August 18-19.

The Loop Head beacon will be among hundreds of lighthouses and lightships worldwide participating in a unique event aimed at promoting public awareness of lighthouses and their need for preservation and restoration.

Simon Kenny, chairperson of Limerick Radio Club, explained that the club, which was founded in 1946, has a “long association” with the Lighthouse Weekend and this year, for the first time, is “privileged to be allowed to operate from Loop Head”.

“We hope to open long distance communications with regions in Asia, through Europe, North and South America, Australia and New Zealand,” he explained.

“A special QSL Card [confirmation of communication] has been designed to mark the event. Club membership is open to individuals from all walks of life who are interested in radio communications, electronic construction and antenna design. The club will operate two stations, one of which will be at the entrance to the Lighthouse so members of the public can listen to some of the transmissions,” he added.

The annual event is conducted under the sponsorship of the Ayr Amateur Radio Group in Scotland and the Loop Head broadcast has been sanctioned by local authorities, including Clare County Council and Loop Head Tourism.

During the broadcast, visitors to the lighthouse will be able to listen into communications with some of the other participating ham radio operators broadcasting from 400 other lighthouses and lightships in 50 countries.

Ger Dollard, director of services with Clare County Council, said that radio club’s involvement in the project would “help to raise public awareness of Loop Head Lighthouse and other similar facilities across the world”.

For more see www.limerickradioclub.ie.