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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Island News
Baltimore all-weather lifeboat on its way to North Harbour in Cape Clear
Baltimore RNLI were called out to provide a medical evacuation this afternoon (Sunday 10 October) from Cape Clear Island off the coast of West Cork. The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 2.39 pm, following a request from…
The journey took the all-weather lifeboat, Sam and Ada Moody, past Clare Island and Inishturk, then south to Inishbofin in moderate sea conditions with waves of up to two metres in places
Achill Island RNLI evacuated a male patient from Inishbofin late last night and into this morning, (Tuesday 5 October). The patient was brought to Cleggan Pier in Galway for further transport to University College Hospital, Galway. The volunteer lifeboat crew…
CFOAT cathaoirleach or chairman Dara Ó Maoildhia
An Aran islands energy co-operative has won an international award for its work on renewable fuels. The Aran energy co-op has secured the National Association of Municipalities of the Minor Islands (ANCIM) prize for having the “best energy system that…
Dara McGee's - 'Under a mackerel sky', part of the Curacha outdoor exhibition
The artists’ exhibition of 21 currachs used as canvases which ran over the summer on the Aran island of Inis Oírr transfers into NUI Galway for Culture Night. Irish international sculptor John Behan RHA, Tuam-based visual artist Jennifer Cunningham, Mayo-based…
The late Patsy Dan Rodgers was Tory Island's king who campaigned to secure islanders unique way of living and features in the award winning documentary
A TG4 documentary on Donegal's Tory island has won an award at the Celtic Media Festival. The documentary entitled Treibh na nDéithe explores the life of a community on the "margins" of Ireland and Europe. The co-production between Ireland and…
Ciaran Needham, a native of Sáile is Achill Island RNLI station’s new Lifeboat Operations Manager
Achill Island RNLI is delighted to welcome Ciaran Needham, a native of Sáile as the station’s new Lifeboat Operations Manager. Ciaran succeeds Tony McNamara, who recently retired from the role. Ciaran is an electrician by trade and is also a…
Achill Island RNLI was involved in the medical evacuation of a female patient from Clare Island this afternoon (Tuesday, 7 September) following a request from the Irish Coast Guard. The volunteer crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 1.15 pm under…
Pierce Purcell Jnr of Galway Maritime (left) presents owner/skipper Mark Wllson from the successful Sigma 33 Scorpio with the King of Lambs Trophy in Galway Maritime’s premises in Galway City
So much happened so quickly in Galway Bay SC’s 46-boat Lambs Week cruise to the Aran islands and Connemara (as reported in Afloat.ie) that it took a day or two for a more formal presentation to take place with the…
Aran Islands lifeboat tows the angling boat back to Kilronan Harbour
The Aran Islands volunteer RNLI lifeboat crew were requested by the Irish Coast Guard to launch their All-Weather Severn Lifeboat at 2.48 pm, yesterday (Monday, August 30th). An 11.6 metre angling boat, with nine people aboard, was experiencing engine problems…
God's Own Country, as seen from a satellite above Connemara and Galway Bay. While the three Aran Islands provide some shelter from the Atlantic, this is still a challenging area in which to organise a cruise-in-company and a couple of offshore races for a fleet of 46 boats
With an impressive and eclectic fleet of 46 boats from West Coast ports which ranged from Clew Bay to the north to Kilrush in the Shannon Estuary to the south - in addition to the many harbours and anchorages within…
Aran Islands RNLI
Aran Islands RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crew were called to two medical evacuations from Inis Oirr and Inis Mór yesterday (Sunday 22 August). At 3.42 pm the crew were asked by the Irish Coast Guard to launch their all-weather Severn class…
BIM’s higher diploma in business in fisheries and aquaculture
Applications are being sought for a business diploma with a “salty air taste” run by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) and the Institute of Technology (IT) Carlow. The closing date is September 3rd for prospective participants in BIM’s higher diploma in…
Achill Island RNLI’s Tony McNamara
Achill Island RNLI’s Tony McNamara retires as Lifeboat Operations Manager after 32 years of service to the charity. Achill Island RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, Tony McNamara has retired after three decades of volunteering for the charity in an operational role.…
The new moorings blocks being shipped to the Aran Islands for GBSC's Lambs Week Regatta
Preparations continue apace for Galway Bay's Lamb's Week Sailing Regatta that starts on Thursday.  As Afloat previously reported, Galway Bay Sailing Club hosts Lambs Week from August 19th to 25th, when some 50 boats will take part in the five-day…
Achill Island RNLI
Achill Island RNLI was involved in the medical evacuation of a patient from Clare Island at the weekend. The volunteer lifeboat crew launched at 9.29 am on Saturday (14 August) under Coxswain Dave Curtis and with five crew members on…
Working on the Beckett mound at Inis Oírr.  The exhibition celebrates the making and sculpting of the set, the translation process and the engagement with the community
Islanders with expertise in stone have completed a “jigsaw puzzle” of rock upon timber for an Irish language production of Beckett’s Happy Days on the Aran island of Inis Oírr. As The Times Ireland reports, director Sarah Jane Scaife worked…

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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