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Shipwrecks, Murder, Jedi Knights: Ireland's Islands Have Stories To Go With The Views

25th January 2015
Shipwrecks, Murder, Jedi Knights: Ireland's Islands Have Stories To Go With The Views

#Coastal - Ireland's coastal islands offer some astounding vistas, as this breathtaking video from the Smithsonian Channel shows perfectly.

The clip from the American TV channel's Sky View series sweeps high above the Aran Islands to highlight the rugged beauty of the west coast, from the skeletal shipwrecks to the rocky shores to the veins of stone walls across the green landscape.

It's easy to see why the Wild Atlantic Way is such a draw for tourists, but let's not ignore the bounty of the east coast either, as the Irish Independent highlights the New York Times' celebration of Dublin Bay's world-class views for "little more than the cost of a pint".

Cited as "one of the most beautiful views in the world" in that tribute is the vista as seen from Howth Head, from where one has a perfect 'eye-catching' view of the enthralling Ireland's Eye.

The tiny island, with its prominent Martello tower, is less than a mile from the North Dublin fishing village, and doesn't even seem that far from the end of the pier.

But as Conor Pope reports in The Irish Times, it "may as well be on a different planet", describing a place full of mystery, history – and even murder.

Meanwhile, off the southwest coast there's another tiny rock with its own storied past that's about to take on a whole new relevance to fans of the Star Wars saga.

BBC News reports on Skellig Michael, the island "that links Irish monks and Jedi knights" after filming took place last year for the hotly anticipated movie The Force Unleashed.

The island is already a popular spot for visitors, but could soon welcome many more – with lightsabers in tow!

Published in Coastal Notes
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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Coastal Notes Coastal Notes covers a broad spectrum of stories, events and developments in which some can be quirky and local in nature, while other stories are of national importance and are on-going, but whatever they are about, they need to be told.

Stories can be diverse and they can be influential, albeit some are more subtle than others in nature, while other events can be immediately felt. No more so felt, is firstly to those living along the coastal rim and rural isolated communities. Here the impact poses is increased to those directly linked with the sea, where daily lives are made from earning an income ashore and within coastal waters.

The topics in Coastal Notes can also be about the rare finding of sea-life creatures, a historic shipwreck lost to the passage of time and which has yet many a secret to tell. A trawler's net caught hauling more than fish but cannon balls dating to the Napoleonic era.

Also focusing the attention of Coastal Notes, are the maritime museums which are of national importance to maintaining access and knowledge of historical exhibits for future generations.

Equally to keep an eye on the present day, with activities of existing and planned projects in the pipeline from the wind and wave renewables sector and those of the energy exploration industry.

In addition Coastal Notes has many more angles to cover, be it the weekend boat leisure user taking a sedate cruise off a long straight beach on the coast beach and making a friend with a feathered companion along the way.

In complete contrast is to those who harvest the sea, using small boats based in harbours where infrastructure and safety poses an issue, before they set off to ply their trade at the foot of our highest sea cliffs along the rugged wild western seaboard.

It's all there, as Coastal Notes tells the stories that are arguably as varied to the environment from which they came from and indeed which shape people's interaction with the surrounding environment that is the natural world and our relationship with the sea.

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