In a dramatic demonstration of the power of the Atlantic Storms, the Plassey which was wrecked in 1960 (without loss of life) on "Carraig na Finnise" Reef, was later thrown up on the rocks well above high tide mark. The islanders rescued the survivors and the boat now stands in the water for all to see.
This is the patron saint of Inis Oírr and his festival is celebrated on the 14th of June each year. The church ruins dating from the 10th - 14th centuries were buried under the ever-blowing sand, and have to be dug out regularly. At the graveyard entrance, the mass of shells is a kitchen of early Christian or Medieval date.
Inis Mór is the largest of the three Aran Islands and is the most developed in terms of tourist facilities. There are about 900 inhabitants on Inis Mór making it by far the most populated of the islands.
The main village on the island is Kilronan, which has a quite large harbour that accommodates a vast amount of tourist travel to the island. There are minibuses as well as horse and carts to take people around when they arrive off the boat or you could hire a bicycle which is also recommended. With the frequent boat trips every few hours from the mainland it is easily possible to visit just for one day if required.
This is a really interesting ruin on Inishere. It’s great to look at in the sunset, when it just kind of looms up on the hill and over the town like a ghost. The castle is a three storey tower house probably built by the O'Brien family who owned the island up to 1585. It is built within a cashel perhaps dating to the early centuries A.D.
You can’t miss it when you start walking around the island, however. It seems like you can see it no matter where you are.
The view from the area by the lighthouse is pretty neat. It’s on the other side of the island and is a nice little walk, too. Be careful if you start treading towards the lighthouse, however. The rocks can get really slick and sometimes water splashes up between them. You don’t want to fall and break your neck.
The holy well of St. Enda, the patron saint of Inis Mór, who is reputed to have lived in a clochán (beehive hut) nearby, of which hardly anything now remains. This well is greatly revered by the islanders.
The hill in the middle of the island is occupied by Dun Conchuir, an ancient ring fort. The first entrance will bring you into the outer courtyard, with a second “door” bringing you into the inner circle. The thick ring wall has steps (some of them rather dodgy…) in regular intervals from which you can climb to the top of the wall and get an absolutely magnificent view of most of the island, towards Inishmore and across Galway Bay to Connemara.
I haven’t got a photo of the actual place, but calling it a “chair” is a slight exaggeration. It is a small semi-circular stone wall at the edge of a cliff, and serves mainly as a shelter from the wind. It is just about big enough for 2-3 people to sit in, and a great place to just relax with a book, and look out towards Inishmore and Connemara, and watch the birds and the sea.
This is the cottage where the poet John Millington Synge used to live. It has open to the public from 12-2pm and from 3-4pm. However, as were were usually out hiking during the day, looking for some obscure megalithic stone slab or other, we did not get to go inside, and I’m not sure what there is to see there. Judging by other similar houses that I visited it will probably be some more or less authentic furniture, a board with his biography and maybe some copies of his writings.
There is a signposted walk around the island on which you will pass most of the points of interest on the island. We had a rough map, which one of my friends had picked up somewhere (the tourist office in Galway I think), on which all the sites were numbered and marked. The walk is not strenuous, but involves some walking on rough terrain along the coast, and you should allow a couple of hours for it.
My `on the edge' picture... well there`s still space to go further back i thought!
The way to do the real `on the edge' picture is to lie down along the ground and lean outwards, as far out towards the ocean as gravity agrees with you...;)
At the edge of the cliffs you can find some puffing holes. When the tide is coming in and the wind is strong from the sea, the water gets pressed through caves in the rock, and up through these openings on the surface, thereby sometimes creating quite impressive fountains jets.