• Location, roughly - Galway Bay.
    • Coordinates  -         53.253921,    -9.053455

  • Townland - Claddagh.
  • A.K.A. Iniskeragh, Inis Caoragh - a reference to Sheep, and the type of Meat that they can offer.
  •  Lighthouse   -  (disused)      53.254053,    -9.053536
  • Sewage Treatment Plant 
  • Causeway
  • Sun Dial.
  • Maps
    • Old Map shows a "Sun Dial" south of the Lighthouse.
  • Have Google Earth? Download K.M.Z.
  • Nearest distance to mainland Galway - much the same as the Causeway - 770 Metres.
    • Nearest distance to Clare  - 1.7 Kilometres.
  • Townland - Mutton Island
  • Neighbouring  Island - Hare, to the East.
  • View - As good as it gets. While now a Treatment Plant, this observer could envisage it, as ideal for a Hotel - such is the panoramic view. County Clare (and some of its northern shores), Oranmore, and the Bay of course , are within sight.
  • Population.
  • Boats of Note.
  • Parliamentary Papers from 1853,  Packing Station. There were proposals in 1853 to remove the Lighthouse, and build a Pier on this Island to facilitate Trans Atlantic Packet Ships - a Station for Mail. Another, to built a breakwater between here and the mainland, which as it turns out, is what the Causeway of today does.
  • Wild Fowl Sanctuary Status
  • Monster.
  • See Nimmos Pier.
  • Hare Island
  • Final resting place of Captain Frank Sheridan - the Gentleman and former Galway Harbour Master -  his Ashes scattered in the waters nearby, to the South East, where the historic hand-over from Ship to Pilot, took place during his tenure. 2002. R.I.P.


Mutton Island, Galway, Aerial view

Mutton Island Lighthouse

  • Built 1815
    • Unmanned - 1958
    • Obsolete / redundant/ no more,  in 1977. The Building continues.
  • Possibly, on the site of an old and ruined small sort of Castle, later fortified, but later again - demolished in 1651.
  • Classified (1832 Hydrographical Office, Admiralty) as "Fixed" (opposed to "Flashing" or "Revolving"), 
    • Under, Colour of the Light - "Red and Bright".
    • "Distance in Miles at which they are easily seen in clear Weather"    10.
  • See Population.

Mutton Island, Lighthouse

Galway Leverets.

  • A.K.A.  Candlestick, Galway Harbour Lighthouse. The Leverets Tower. Mark, Marker.
    The only one in Ireland, with a name like this which is a word for "a young Hare". Presumably a reference to the nearby land mass?
  • Coordinates.      53.255373      -9.031644.  Directly East from Mutton Island.
  • Have Google Earth? Download K.M.L.
  • It is a round Concrete structure, anchored to the Sea Floor, and replaced the Land-based Mutton Island Lighthouse, in 1977. Painted, with Black and White coloured bands and about 30 metres tall, over the water.
    Floating Lights on the water surface, also contribute to night-time navigation.
  • About a half Mile West of Hare and a little more to Mutton.
  • Also used for Night time navigation.
  • Height - 30 or 40 feet.
    Galway Bay, the Leverets

 Galway Harbour Leverets


A place for the light House Keeper to stay.

Old Map, Mutton Island

Sewage Treatment Plant.

  • Original Price Tag  - 45 Million (I.T. '99), but could have cost 70 Million 
  • The vastness of the Sea, provides a dilution effect and Ultra Violet Light, helps somewhat.
  • A Sewage Pump was installed in South Park in the 1960's.
  • "Preliminary proposals for erecting additional pumping and maceration facilities at South Park were first drawn up in 1971." (Dick Spring, 1983)

  • Galway City Council foots the Bill for the running of this installation, ultimately.
  • The Facility is maintained by The Murphy Group, who increased its capacity in 2014, to meet demand.
  • Rain Water, entering the Drains of Shop Street for example only, ends up in this place. Then it goes through a number of processes, and ends up in the Bay. So, there is a lot going on. 
  • Sand which is everywhere including Street drainage - has an abrasive nature and wears the Mechanical components. 
  • Large Agitators, stir the effluent to provide oxygen for compliant Bacteria - essential, even in Domestic Septic Tanks, to break-apart the various constituents.
  • According to Murphys, some of the Gases are captured and used for other useful functions.
    It has to be said, that a smell from this place was not unusual, but doesn't happen anymore. It must be working.

Mutton Island Causeway

  • Named after Mr. Martin Connolly, an ex-Mayor of Galway who served that Office in 1987.
    A Plaque to him, in English and Irish, is at the entrance on Grattan Road.
  • Open for Pedestrians, but no Vehicle Access without a means to open the barrier at the Mainland end.
    People like it, and it does have a good, modern and flat Walking surface.
  • Built circa 1999.
  • Unusual at that time of construction. Employing Hexagonal Blocks to absorb the Wave Energy, rather than resist it through strength of material alone. Granite Blocks for example, are almost everywhere else, to serve this function.
    The theory is that you allow some of the energy in. Air, is already within,and acts like a Gas cushion against the thumping Waves.
  • Straight. Almost the shortest distance from the Island to the Mainland - 750 + metres.
    It looks like a malformed Zip, from above.
    Mutton Island Causeway, Galway, Aerial view


  • April 1st. , 1977, The Whitehorn, runs aground here, but not the first. It got caught in rough weather into the Bay, and was carrying 600 tonnes of Fertiilzer for Mc Donagh's in the Docks
    Half of the Docks workforce were involved in the unloading of this Cargo, worked 3-4 hours a day for eight Days at 150 Irish Pounds per day.
    The Whitehorn, 1977



M.V. (Motor Vessel) June, ran aground here on the 16th of January, 1962, during a Gale. It was a Cargo Ship coming from Sligo. See image of it, in good health. A detailed account about the Crew (including a Dog) can be found here.
nvironmental concerns were different then, and there it was left, and remains - not worth fixing, or towing away, and no one decided it worth salvage value in Iron. Its reason to be around here - the Tynagh Mines.

Saoirse na Farraige

Its Baptism in Galway Bay.
November the 6th, 2020. The 40 Metre Saoirse na Farraige is off-loaded from a very large Ship, just South of Mutton Island, where it is deep.
This is a 40 Metre long, Aluminium Mono Hull, and its new Owner is the O Briens of Island Ferries.
Saoirse na Farraige, disembarking from its Mother Ship.


Saoirse na Farraige, Baptism in Galway Bay
Saoirse na Farraige, Baptism in Galway Bay



  • 2020.  Zero.
  • In 1821 a Mrs. Mary Walsh sought a reward, I suppose, for her Husband (Keeper)  who rescued four People from a Boat about to capsize.
  • Living in 1 House
    • 1911. George James Brownell, his Wife Emily and three girls.
    • 1901. Thomas Kerley, his Wife and 2 Girls.

Source;  National Archives.

In 1920, it had 3 more untypical Residents - Prisoners if you like - detained by Sinn Fein. Read more.

t gets even scarier sometime before June of 1935, when an Irish iteration of the Lock Ness Monster appeared, and John Crawley the Lighthouse Keeper shot it a few times in its Head. It was 3 Ton weight and 48 feet long, scaly, and a local attraction.
(Source;  The Kokomo Tribune.)

Another version of this story, puts the Keeper as Crowley, and that the monster was killed and caught, and had 2 Tails oddly.

Sun Dial

As is marked on the old Map, a Sun Dial was here, but disappeared into the night, shortly after the Lighthouse was vacated.

From the Parliamentary Papers - 1853

. In my reply to a question put to me by the former Transatlantic Packet Station Committee, I stated what the requirements were, I consider, necessary to render Galway fit for a transatlantic packet station; my opinion is to be found in the published Report of the Commissioners.

I there stated that I thought, for the establishment of a packet station, it would be necessary that a breakwater and pier should be erected connecting Mutton Island with the main land at Fair Hill, to be met by a corresponding pier and breakwater extending from Hare Island westward. About Fair Hill would be found space for the erection of the storehouses and buildings necessary in the outfit and repairs of the steamers. The outlay required in the building of piers and breakwaters, &c., has been estimated at about 120,000 1.

(signed) Frederick Kemble, Commander, a. If., Superintending Commander Coast Guard, Galway. "

  • Owen Hynes, "fisherman of Cladagh"  was another of many who gave testimony, such was the interest taken in Capital Projects back then.
  • Another. Austin York, "master pilot of Galway"
  • William H. Burke. 1852. See Image, below.
    Burke, Mutton Island, 1852