Wexford author's new book will shed light on the darkness

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Published 13/02/2016 | 00:00

Dr Liam Clarke
Dr Liam Clarke

Wexford-born author Dr Liam Clarke's new book, 'Light in the Darkness', examines the origins of the lightship service, the obstacles and prejudices that faced originators of the idea and the subsequent development of the vessels and working practices over the years.

Throughout the centuries, this dangerous occupation has claimed the lives of a number of lightship crews and those who tried to save them. The lives and working conditions of the brave men, who for over 260 years put their lives at risk guiding ships safely to their destinations, has been almost forgotten. Who were these brave men? Why did they do this vital work? Where did they live and what was the effect upon local communities when these tragedies occurred? Dr Clarke answers these questions with a discussion of local lightship disasters including interviews with some of those who once served. The author has a deep understanding of the dangerous working conditions and the pressures that this lifestyle had on the men and their families. He uses this to portray a lonely and hazardous life which few now remember. The author's royalties will be donated to the RNLI in recognition of the selfless support for lightship men over the years. The book is to be launched at The Book Centre, in Wexford town, at 7.30 p.m. on Thursday, February 18.

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