The Great Lighthouses of Ireland partnership developed by the Commissioners of Irish Lights has appointed Insomnia chair, entrepreneur and tv/radio personality, Bobby Kerr, as its independent chairman.

Welcoming the appointment, Irish Lights chief executive Yvonne Shields said Kerr’s background and experience would be of “huge value” in guiding and informing their future work plans and objectives. The twelve GLI sites (visitor and accommodation combined) attracted 135,000 visitors in 2016.

GLI Kerr

GLI newly appointed chairman Bobby Kerr on-board  ILV Granuaile at Seafest 2017, Galway. Photo Andrew Downes

GLI has agreed a marketing and development strategy to 2020 with the aim of increasing visitor numbers and growing revenue. 

“We look forward to developing exciting new collaborative initiatives with our lighthouse partners over the next phase of development of the project. Irish Lights has brought together a group of people who are deeply rooted in our coastal communities and hugely committed to our lighthouse heritage,” she remarked.

More than 19,000 bednights are available across the lighthouse network. GLI Partnership is forecasting a 9% growth in visitor numbers (domestic and international) and over 60% visitor occupancy in bednights in 2017. 

Kerr said he was “incredibly excited to be given the unique opportunity” to contribute to this “high profile and imaginative tourism” initiative. 

“I am committed to ensuring that this partnership adds value to the national tourism development agenda, partners and coastal communities in a manner that is sustainable and one that we are all proud to be associated with.”

Great Lighthouses of Ireland
St John’s Point, Co Donegal          |  Hook, Co Wexford
Fanad Head, Co Donegal              |  Ballycotton, Co Cork
Rathlin West Light Seabird Centre |
Co Antrim                                   |  Gally Head, Co Cork
St John’s Point, Co Down             |  Loop Head, Co Clare
Wicklow Head, Co Wicklow           |  Clare Island, Co Mayo 
GLI partners:
Irish Landmark Trust; the Royal Society for Protection of Birds; Forbairt Fhanada Teoranta; Clare County Council; Ballycotton Lighthouse Tours; Mid & East Antrim Borough Council; Hook Heritage Limited; Valentia Island Development Company and Clare Island Lighthouse. GLI is also supported by Tourism Ireland; Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Northern Ireland.