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Island Adventures

Where to start ?

Maybe northwest as it is close to home and we could work our way around the coast. Padraig who plays with Aniar invited us to travel to Innis Oirr with a group of musicians from his locality of Ferns, for a weekend of music and craic. It seemed like this was now the right place for us to begin our island adventures. Molly reluctantly accepted that she would be staying behind as all this music would mean pubs and there might not be space for four extra feet... never mind the tail !!!

Innis Oirr 16th May '08


Innis Oirr is the smallest and most southerly of the three Aran Islands located west of Galway Bay. The group, forty one in total arrived at Rossamhil in Connemara to take the boat to the island. The crossing was very calm and with a quick stop off at Inishmaan the journey took about an hour and a half.

Our first glimpse of the island was impressive with the remains of a castle on the hill. We inquired where we could camp for the weekend, and were told by an islander that we could pitch our tent on any patch of ground that suited us, and that there was a campsite in the village, so we choose it. As we were the only campers tonight we had our choice of places to pick from. There was no charge for camping which included toilets, showers and water taps. The mainland has a lot to learn, (anyone wishing to camp in Bundoran for eg. must be over a certain age.... old in other words) why not make things simple instead of making everything so difficult.







Soon everyone had settled into their weekend dwellings, filled up with home cooked hot food and soon the tunes began. There were tunes and songs alike from local and visiting musicians into the wee small hours, in the afternoons and again on into the night. Each session took place in a new location and brought with it new life and entertainment. With an interesting man from Jerusalem, who for five years now has chosen not to shave, cut his hair, or wear shoes and sang a Mongolian undertone chant. Ronan a young barman from Galway and celebrating his 23rd birthday came out from behind the bar to play a few tunes on the fiddle. And then there was the Mayo dog who sang along with his owner, " the little dog laughed to see such fun" . Our own group contributed in no small way to the music, song, dance and craic, and finally an islander sang as Gaeilge to bid us farewell before we made our way to the boat once more.


The weather was designer made for our further enjoyment, and there was time between tunes to explore the magic of the island. Each did it their own way. The jarvie's were ready with their jaunting cars, bicycle's were available for hire and there was access for the walker too. We choose to take a picnic and walk along the coast. On the south western shore lies a huge ship wreck, which has been there since 1960 and is inhabited by some seagulls. It became stranded on a cold March night and when alerted by a young boy, all who could helped, and the eleven crew were rescued safely.iiship.jpg












The flora and fauna is similar to the burren with lots of delicate blooms. The lighthouse lies on the most southerly point and as we approached there was a man leaning on the top railing as we were talking to him he invited us up, he and another man were servicing the controls. It was our lucky day, I had never been inside a lighthouse before, Jimmy as a small boy was inside the Hook, this was a real treat for us. The depth of the beautifully cut stone walls and wooden banisters were evidence of the quality of workmanship that has withstood the elements for 151years 1857.







The view from here gave us a picture of three sides of the island, with just the eastern inhabited side not in view. The stone walls are very high here, some as high as 12ft. perhaps, to clear as many as possible from the land and also to create shelter from the Atlantic winds. We walked the smaller green roads instead of the tarred ones and by the time we were ready to depart the island we had probably enjoyed every nook and cranny, talked to every animal, and stopped to watch t.v. (hee...hee).


Beidhimid arais aris

On to Aran Mór (Donegal).








Yes its hard to get away from the televisions, theres flat screens  black screens, lcds, color black and white, you name it. So lucky for us (huh) we found this one sitting on the wall. The only diffrence with this one is that it dosent work..not much diffrence really.

Oh the sea, oh  the sea.......