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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

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Island News
Howth Harbour in County Dublin is one of five additional Irish ports where fishing vessels on the British register can land from February 1st
Minister for Marine Charlie McConalogue has come to the rescue of Donegal islanders with fishing boats registered in Northern Ireland who were blocked from landing into their nearest port by the Brexit deal. Northern Irish vessels and boats owned by…
Islander James Coyne in a still from the video series Inishbofin in Lockdown
A new video series is providing vivid snapshots of life among a Connemara island community during lockdown. Filming for Inishbofin in Lockdown was completed last spring — when Inishbofin, off western Connemara, joined the three Aran Islands in agreeing to…
Sailing at Achill
When I first saw Clochmor, Achill, County Mayo, in the late 1960's it was as if I had walked into a Paul Henry painting. The Famine era pier, built from the local red sandstone, was intact. Currachs and tarred wooden…
Inisturk island had a very good tourist season this year, in spite of guesthouses being closed due to Covid-19
Over four years ago, the Mayo island of Inishturk was inundated with inquiries after the word went out that it was offering a safe haven for North Americans who had not voted for Donald Trump.  Now, even Mr Trump himself…
RMS Titanic leaving Belfast with two-guiding-tugs visible
Old Ireland in Colour celebrates the rich history of Ireland and the Irish through the colour restoration of stunning images of all walks of Irish life, and the Irish abroad, throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. From the chaos of…
One of the Great Blasket’s best-known residents, Peig Sayers
As if there wasn’t enough Kerry sadness with Fungie’s disappearance, along comes Peig Sayers... As The Sunday Independent reports today, a newly published collection of stories by one of the Great Blasket’s best-known residents shows her “grámhar or more flirtatious…
Professor John Quinn with the Gannet colony sign on the Great Saltee Islands
COVID-19’s impact on visits to offshore islands may be benefiting the gannet seabird colony on Wexford’s Great Saltee. A new University College Cork (UCC) study has recorded the level of disturbance to the birds caused by tourists in the summer…
Baltimore RNLI preparing to depart the lifeboat station
Baltimore RNLI was called out to provide a medical evacuation late last night (Sunday 18 October) from Sherkin Island off the coast of Baltimore, West Cork.  The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 11.39 pm, following a request…
World Maritime Day "Lá Mara" to be Marked by Udaras na Gaeltachta Marine Webinar
Ireland’s “blue economy” and the opportunities for Gaeltacht communities will be debated at a marine “webinar” hosted by State agency Udarás na Gaeltachta on Thursday to mark world maritime day. Offshore renewable energy, standards for sustainable harvesting of both wild…
Sherkin Island in Cork is to benefit from funding in an allocation from Department of Rural and Community Development
Government responsibility for offshore islands has been transferred to the Department of Rural and Community Development. The islands had previously been within the brief held by the recently reconstituted Department of Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht. Minister…
It's Island Time! Limited availability for Kevin Barry's Aerial Sparks at Inis Oírr Lighthouse this month, so please book in advance if you are planning a visit to experience the muli-media monologue. The lighthouse on the smallest of the Aran Islands, Galway Bay, can accommodate max 3 people at a time. It is also a unique opportunity to experience a landmark that is normally closed to the public according to Irish Lights.
An Aran Islands lighthouse located on Inis Oírr, the smallest of these Atlantic isles in Galway Bay is the wonderful setting for this month's Aerial/Sparks: Island Time, written and performed by Kevin Barry. Long, long ago, a melancholy lighthouse keeper…
 Stunning setting of Cape Clear Island off the south-west coast of Cork which too forms an impressive backdrop.
Islands along the Wild Atlantic Way not surprisingly are among seven in a list of islands within Irish and UK waters which draw attention as there’s something about crossing the sea that makes a holiday feel proper. As BreakingNews adds…
Retired nurse Nora Flanagan is Arranmore RNLI’s lifeboat press officer
Arranmore RNLI volunteer Nora Flanagan has been recognised for 25 years of service to the charity that saves lives at sea. The retired nurse, who serves as the Donegal island station’s press officer, first got involved with the RNLI in…
A still from Ailís Ní Ríain’s video and sound composition East-West
An art project involving multiple collaborators and many years in the making will soon invite the public to connect, both in person and online, with one of the last unknown spaces on earth — the ocean wilderness. Aerial/Sparks was created…
The event will explore how islands connect “to each other, to the mainland and to other islands across Europe and the world”.
The challenges for the economies of Ireland’s offshore islands in a “post-COVID world” will be discussed with a number of contributors at a “virtual summit” next Wednesday (Sept 2). Comdháil Oileáín na hÉireann, the Irish Island Federation, is supporting the…
Speakers Lineup Grows For Virtual Island Summit
More details have been revealed regarding the Virtual Island Summit taking place next month from 7-13 September. As previously reported on Afloat.ie, some 140 ambassadors representing 10,000 islanders will take part in the summit that will discuss the many common…

Ireland's offshore islands

Around 30 of Ireland's offshore islands are inhabited and hold a wealth of cultural heritage.

A central Government objective is to ensure that sustainable vibrant communities continue to live on the islands.

Irish offshore islands FAQs

Technically, it is Ireland itself, as the third largest island in Europe.

Ireland is surrounded by approximately 80 islands of significant size, of which only about 20 are inhabited.

Achill island is the largest of the Irish isles with a coastline of almost 80 miles and has a population of 2,569.

The smallest inhabited offshore island is Inishfree, off Donegal.

The total voting population in the Republic's inhabited islands is just over 2,600 people, according to the Department of Housing.

Starting with west Cork, and giving voting register numbers as of 2020, here you go - Bere island (177), Cape Clear island (131),Dursey island (6), Hare island (29), Whiddy island (26), Long island, Schull (16), Sherkin island (95). The Galway islands are Inis Mór (675), Inis Meáin (148), Inis Oírr (210), Inishbofin (183). The Donegal islands are Arranmore (513), Gola (30), Inishboffin (63), Inishfree (4), Tory (140). The Mayo islands, apart from Achill which is connected by a bridge, are Clare island (116), Inishbiggle (25) and Inishturk (52).

No, the Gaeltacht islands are the Donegal islands, three of the four Galway islands (Inishbofin, like Clifden, is English-speaking primarily), and Cape Clear or Oileán Chléire in west Cork.

Lack of a pier was one of the main factors in the evacuation of a number of islands, the best known being the Blasket islands off Kerry, which were evacuated in November 1953. There are now three cottages available to rent on the Great Blasket island.

In the early 20th century, scholars visited the Great Blasket to learn Irish and to collect folklore and they encouraged the islanders to record their life stories in their native tongue. The three best known island books are An tOileánach (The Islandman) by Tomás Ó Criomhthain, Peig by Peig Sayers, and Fiche Blian ag Fás (Twenty Years A-Growing) by Muiris Ó Súilleabháin. Former taoiseach Charles J Haughey also kept a residence on his island, Inishvickillaune, which is one of the smaller and less accessible Blasket islands.

Charles J Haughey, as above, or late Beatle musician, John Lennon. Lennon bought Dorinish island in Clew Bay, south Mayo, in 1967 for a reported £1,700 sterling. Vendor was Westport Harbour Board which had used it for marine pilots. Lennon reportedly planned to spend his retirement there, and The Guardian newspaper quoted local estate agent Andrew Crowley as saying he was "besotted with the place by all accounts". He did lodge a planning application for a house, but never built on the 19 acres. He offered it to Sid Rawle, founder of the Digger Action Movement and known as the "King of the Hippies". Rawle and 30 others lived there until 1972 when their tents were burned by an oil lamp. Lennon and Yoko Ono visited it once more before his death in 1980. Ono sold the island for £30,000 in 1984, and it is widely reported that she donated the proceeds of the sale to an Irish orphanage

 

Yes, Rathlin island, off Co Antrim's Causeway Coast, is Ireland's most northerly inhabited island. As a special area of conservation, it is home to tens of thousands of sea birds, including puffins, kittiwakes, razorbills and guillemots. It is known for its Rathlin golden hare. It is almost famous for the fact that Robert the Bruce, King of Scots, retreated after being defeated by the English at Perth and hid in a sea cave where he was so inspired by a spider's tenacity that he returned to defeat his enemy.

No. The Aran islands have a regular ferry and plane service, with ferries from Ros-a-Mhíl, south Connemara all year round and from Doolin, Co Clare in the tourist season. The plane service flies from Indreabhán to all three islands. Inishbofin is connected by ferry from Cleggan, Co Galway, while Clare island and Inishturk are connected from Roonagh pier, outside Louisburgh. The Donegal islands of Arranmore and Tory island also have ferry services, as has Bere island, Cape Clear and Sherkin off Cork. How are the island transport services financed? The Government subsidises transport services to and from the islands. The Irish Coast Guard carries out medical evacuations, as to the RNLI lifeboats. Former Fianna Fáíl minister Éamon Ó Cuív is widely credited with improving transport services to and from offshore islands, earning his department the nickname "Craggy island".

Craggy Island is an bleak, isolated community located of the west coast, inhabited by Irish, a Chinese community and one Maori. Three priests and housekeeper Mrs Doyle live in a parochial house There is a pub, a very small golf course, a McDonald's fast food restaurant and a Chinatown... Actually, that is all fiction. Craggy island is a figment of the imagination of the Father Ted series writers Graham Linehan and Arthur Mathews, for the highly successful Channel 4 television series, and the Georgian style parochial house on the "island" is actually Glenquin House in Co Clare.

Yes, that is of the Plassey, a freighter which was washed up on Inis Oírr in bad weather in 1960.

There are some small privately owned islands,and islands like Inishlyre in Co Mayo with only a small number of residents providing their own transport. Several Connemara islands such as Turbot and Inishturk South have a growing summer population, with some residents extending their stay during Covid-19. Turbot island off Eyrephort is one such example – the island, which was first spotted by Alcock and Brown as they approached Ireland during their epic transatlantic flight in 1919, was evacuated in 1978, four years after three of its fishermen drowned on the way home from watching an All Ireland final in Clifden. However, it is slowly being repopulated

Responsibility for the islands was taking over by the Department of Rural and Community Development . It was previously with the Gaeltacht section in the Department of Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht.

It is a periodic bone of contention, as Ireland does not have the same approach to its islands as Norway, which believes in right of access. However, many improvements were made during Fianna Fáíl Galway West TD Éamon Ó Cuív's time as minister. The Irish Island Federation, Comdháil Oileáin na hÉireann, represents island issues at national and international level.

The 12 offshore islands with registered voters have long argued that having to cast their vote early puts them at a disadvantage – especially as improved transport links mean that ballot boxes can be transported to the mainland in most weather conditions, bar the winter months. Legislation allowing them to vote on the same day as the rest of the State wasn't passed in time for the February 2020 general election.

Yes, but check tide tables ! Omey island off north Connemara is accessible at low tide and also runs a summer race meeting on the strand. In Sligo, 14 pillars mark the way to Coney island – one of several islands bearing this name off the Irish coast.

Cape Clear or Oileán Chléire is the country's most southerly inhabited island, eight miles off the west Cork coast, and within sight of the Fastnet Rock lighthouse, also known as the "teardrop of Ireland".
Skellig Michael off the Kerry coast, which has a monastic site dating from the 6th century. It is accessible by boat – prebooking essential – from Portmagee, Co Kerry. However, due to Covid-19 restrictions, it was not open to visitors in 2020.
All islands have bird life, but puffins and gannets and kittiwakes are synonymous with Skellig Michael and Little Skellig. Rathlin island off Antrim and Cape Clear off west Cork have bird observatories. The Saltee islands off the Wexford coast are privately owned by the O'Neill family, but day visitors are permitted access to the Great Saltee during certain hours. The Saltees have gannets, gulls, puffins and Manx shearwaters.
Vikings used Dublin as a European slaving capital, and one of their bases was on Dalkey island, which can be viewed from Killiney's Vico road. Boat trips available from Coliemore harbour in Dalkey. Birdwatch Ireland has set up nestboxes here for roseate terns. Keep an eye out also for feral goats.
Plenty! There are regular boat trips in summer to Inchagoill island on Lough Corrib, while the best known Irish inshore island might be the lake isle of Innisfree on Sligo's Lough Gill, immortalised by WB Yeats in his poem of the same name. Roscommon's Lough Key has several islands, the most prominent being the privately-owned Castle Island. Trinity island is more accessible to the public - it was once occupied by Cistercian monks from Boyle Abbey.

©Afloat 2020

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