Belfast Telegraph

Warning beacon to shine again as artwork for Titanic Quarter

By Chris McCollough

An historic lighthouse optic from Donegal could become part of a major new Belfast art installation.

At 130 years old and weighing 10 tonnes, the Mew Island Lighthouse Optic is one of the largest of its kind ever constructed.

Planning permission is being sought for the optic to be located in Titanic Quarter, as an art piece paying tribute to Belfast's maritime history.

The optic was moved from Tory Island in Donegal to the lighthouse on Mew Island in 1924, which is one of only 29 known lighthouses worldwide installed with a hyper-radical Fresnel lens.

The Titanic Foundation and the Commissioners of Irish Lights are aiming to house the optic in the Titanic Quarter to help the public engage with the marine heritage of Belfast.

The lens will be housed in a transparent structure, located on the Titanic Walkway, which is to be constructed as a pedestrian route linking up with Alexandra dock.

According to the planning application, the optic will be installed in such a way that it will be able to rotate.

Mew Island lighthouse, on the Copeland Islands in the Irish Sea, is one of the tallest lighthouses in Ireland.

It served as an important aid to navigation at the southern entrance to Belfast Lough, built at a time when Belfast was one of the most important ports in the world.

The optic was removed two years ago when the lighthouse was modernised.

The new art piece is expected to be completed this summer.

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