About the Commissioners of Irish Lights
The Commissioners are responsible for-
- the provision and maintenance of lighthouses, buoys, beacons, and radio aids to marine navigation to assist the safe and expeditious passage of all classes of mariners in general navigation;
- Sanctioning the establishment, alteration, or discontinuation of local aids to marine navigation in ports, harbours, and on coastlines which are within the jurisdiction of a local lighthouse authority, in accordance with international standards; this includes sanctioning the marking and lighting of fish farms, oil and gas rigs, and other hazards;
- The inspection of local aids to navigation to ensure they comply with international standards and the statutory sanction granted;
- Marking or removing wreck which is a danger to navigation, where no harbour or conservancy authority has the power to do so.
The statutory basis for the Commissioners' activities in Northern Ireland is the UK Merchant Shipping Act 1995, and the Merchant Shipping and Maritime Security Act 1997.
On 2 December 1999 the Irish and UK Governments signed orders establishing the six Implementation Bodies agreed in the Belfast Agreement. One of these is the Foyle, Carlingford and Irish Lights Commission. Primary legislation is required in both Westminster and Dublin to enable the functions of the Commissioners of Irish Lights to be incorporated into the new body. In the meantime the Commissioners of Irish Lights continue to operate under existing Irish and UK law.
The Commissioners are committed to providing a technologically advanced aids to navigation service for all mariners at the least possible cost in compliance with national and international obligations.
In conjunction with Trinity House Lighthouse Service and the Northern Lighthouse Board, the Commissioners conduct regular reviews to ensure that the level and mix of aids to navigation provided is appropriate to the needs of all classes of mariner in general navigation.
The Services provided by the Commissioners are financed from the General Lighthouse Fund.
The income of the General Lighthouse Fund is mainly derived from light dues charged on commercial shipping at ports in Ireland and Great Britain, supplemented by an annual contribution from the Irish Exchequer towards the cost of the services provided by the Commissioners in the Republic of Ireland.
The Irish Lights Vessel Granuaile is deployed to maintain the aids to navigation provided by the Commissioners. A contract helicopter is used to transport maintenance personnel and materials to and from exposed off-shore lighthouses. The Commissioners' Lighthouse Depot and engineering workshops are at Dun Laoghaire harbour.
The Commissioners of Irish Lights as on 1 January 2002 are-
Terence Johnson, Chairman
Sheila Tyrrell, Vice-Chairman
Frank Boland, Deputy Vice-Chairman
Commodore Liam Moloney
The Lord Glentoran
Commodore John Kavanagh
The Right Honourable The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Councillor Michael Mulcahy
Alderman Sean Haughey, TD
Councillor Eamonn O'Brien
Councillor Ciáran Cuffe
The Principal Officers of the Commissioners are-
Mel Boyd, Chief Executive,
Stuart Ruttle, Engineer-in-Chief,
Captain Shay Hickey, Inspector of Lights and Marine Superintendent,
Tom Elliott, Head of Personnel and Administration,
Martin Dyas, Head of Finance,
John Burke, Head of Information Systems.