Turn Ireland's foghorns back on

I am frequently out of step with the modern times, but I suspect I'm in a majority of people living on this small island who regret the decision of the Commissioners of Irish Lights to discontinue using foghorns.

The Commissioners say foghorns are no longer necessary as those who ply the seas today have ample electronic equipment to help them navigate; foghorns are no longer necessary.

I can't argue that point because I don't captain a freighter nor even a small sailboat. In fact I never go out to sea at all. {Although there are some who do sail the waters around Ireland who are opposed to the silencing of the foghorns.}

I say rational argument and new technologies be damned. I want the foghorns turned back on.

I love the sound of a foghorn on a murky Irish day. Do I need to hear it? No, of course not, but that sound is one of the things I enjoy about living near the sea. It's a wonderful sound on a day when vision is limited and everything seems so still. Sentimentality demands that the foghorns be turned back on.

I can accept that the foghorns may no longer be needed as a navigational aid, but does that mean they should be turned off? The foghorn was a way for us on land to call out to those who are at sea; a warning that they should take care.

Okay maybe they don't need to hear from us any longer, but that doesn't mean we should stop calling. I'd wager that sailors would still appreciate hearing from us, hearing the foghorn, even if some mechanical voice is telling them, "In two nautical miles, turn to starboard."


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