Inisheer

Jan 8, 2017

With a population of about 250 people, Inis Oírr is the smallest and most easterly of the Aran Islands, visited by thousands every year to enjoy its asperous idyll, sedate pace and bucolic backdrop.

The island is also famous for the fact that it appears in the opening credits of the popular TV show, Father Ted, although little to none of the show’s content was actually filmed there. Indeed, much to the disappointment of the local tourism industry, the annual Ted Fest, takes place on the much larger island, Inis Mór.

The weekend of this visit coincided with ‘Drop Everything’ – a biennial Festival of Art in which of artistic minds from every corner of the creative cosmos converge on the island for one weekend in search of their muse or to imbue others with theirs.

The gaggle of artists were an incongruous lot – flamboyance cast against the rugged backdrop of the island –  but a friendly bunch and it wasn’t long before we had found out all about it. The fact that the Drop Everything Festival was by invitation only added the sense of satisfaction which emanated from its participants.

Inis Oírr is well serviced by a short ferry journey from Doolin which runs all years round, weather permitting of course, and once you arrive on the island you feel like you’ve been transported onto the film set of a rustic Irish biopic.

Bicycle is the best way to the see this small island which is only 3km wide. The islands network of roads are lined extensively and beautifully by miles of dry stone walls which continue into the fields but the view of this patchwork landscape and the turquoise Atlantic beyond is best appreciated from the ancient O’Brien Castle or higher up at the lighthouse.

No visit to the Island would be complete without a trip to the Plassy, a red-rusted cargo ship that ran aground in 1960 which has gradually been moved further up the rocks by the sea over the years and makes for a great photo opportunity.

A pint of Guinness in the sun-trapped beer garden of Tígh Ned, gazing across the wild Atlantic, rounds the day off perfectly. It’s very easy to lose all sense of time as you let the peaceful aura of the island wash over you, so be careful not to miss the last boat home!

Inis Oírr is well serviced by a short ferry journey from Doolin which runs all years round, weather permitting of course, but once you arrive on the island you feel like you’ve been transported onto the film set of a rustic Irish biopic.

Bicycle is the best way to the see this small island which is only 3km wide. The islands network of roads are lined extensively and beautifully by miles of dry stone walls which continue into the fields. The view of this patchwork landscape and the turquoise Atlantic beyond is best appreciated from the ancient O’Brien Castle or higher up at the lighthouse.

No visit to the Island would be complete without a trip to the Plassy, a red-rusted cargo ship that ran aground in 1960 which has gradually been moved further up the rocks by the sea over the years and makes for a great photo opportunity.

A pint of Guinness in the sun-trapped beer garden of Tígh Ned, gazing across the wild Atlantic, rounds the day off perfectly. It’s very easy to lose all sense of time as you let the peaceful aura of the island wash over you, so be careful not to miss the last boat home!

Inis Oírr

Coole Park, Lady Gregory House and Visitors Centre

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