Wanted: teams to paint the nation's lighthouses. Must be handy with a brush, not afraid of heights and ideally possess a sturdy pair of sea legs. Dulux dog not required.
It's certainly a painting and decorating job with a difference. The Commissioners of Irish Lights has issued a tender for the painting for its lighthouses dotted around the coast, including some of the more remote spots which, it warns, will only be accessible by helicopter.
Irish Lights operates 65 lighthouses around the coast of Ireland and Northern Ireland in addition to other marine aids to navigation and according to the tender, they are due a paint job.
"Projects at lighthouse stations will entail full or part painting of lighthouses and related buildings and may also include elements of minor construction or replacement works," it said. "Works will be carried out at stations located on the mainland, on islands and on offshore rocks.
"It may be necessary for the contractor’s workforce to live on offshore stations for extended periods with limited intermediate relief opportunities. This period could be up to three weeks in duration. On such occasions, the contractor’s workforce will be accompanied by an Irish Lights’ Lighthouse Attendant.
"The Attendant’s primary function will be to ensure that the Aids to Navigation services are not disrupted during the course of the contract works and to be responsible for health and safety issues pertaining to the lighthouse station in accordance with Irish Lights’ Safety Management System."
Not all the country's lighthouses are regularly blasted by the waves, and the tender points out that access is normally via public road or ferry, or by private local boat. "If required, helicopter operations will be organised and provided by Irish Lights," it said.
As for those hard-to-reach jobs, according to the tender: The successful tenderer will be responsible for providing all plant, tools and equipment required for the work being undertaken and that all tools and equipment are in good condition.
"All loads that require to be airlifted to site will be prepared by Irish Lights or Irish Lights’ contract helicopter personnel."
However, it also said the successful tenderer needed be aware that some paints and painting products are classified as dangerous goods for the purpose of transport by air, although "Irish Lights helipad Attendants are trained and certified in the packing of dangerous goods for the transport by air".
The successful tenderer shall only use paint and related materials of the highest quality appropriate for use in the marine environment and sourced from a recognised paint manufacturer or supplier.
The painting of lighthouse stations will generally be carried out during the months of April to October and the letter of acceptance states: "The Contract Sum is €54,930", while another document states that the contract will terminate when the total value of tasks under the contract and the other participants' contracts reaches €750,000.