Ireland's Islands

Southwest | West | Northwest | East | by THEME | READ | Search
Achill | Aran Islands | Arranmore | Bere | Blaskets | Cape Clear | Clare | Clew Bay | South Connemara
Copeland Islands | Dalkey | Dún Briste | Dursey | Duvillaun More | Garinish | Gola
Gweedore & The Rosses | Heir | High | Ilnacullin | Inisbofin | Inisbofin (Donegal) | Inishglora
Inishkea | Inis Meáin | Inishmurray | Inis Oirr | Inishtrahull | Inishturk | Ireland's Eye | Lambay
Mweenish | Omey | Puffin | Rathlin | Roaring Water Bay | Saltees | Scariff and Deenish | Scattery Island
Sherkin | Skelligs | off Skerries | Stags of Broad Haven | Tory | Valentia | Whiddy
Achill, County Mayo
Irelands largest island. Connected to the mainland by bridge since 1887.
Oileáin Árainn, County Galway
Irelands most famous and most visited islands. Stones of Aran - Pilgrimage by Tim Robinson is probably the best book about any Irish island.
Arranmore, County Donegal
The biggest and most populous of the Donegal islands.
Bear Island, County Cork
After independence in 1922 the British navy had a base here until 1938.
Blasket Islands, County Kerry
The small number of people who lived on Blasket have left an amazingly rich legacy of writings about their community and way of life. The Great Blasket was finally abondoned in 1953 after a drowning tragedy.
Cape Clear, County Cork
A beautiful hilly island, Cape, in Roaring Water Bay, is the most southerly land in Ireland.
Clare Island, County Mayo
Robert Lloyd Praegar, a botanist, inspired and led the Clare Island Survey in 1909-1911. The survey documented the plants, animals and placenames of the island.
Clew Bay, County Mayo
Many people will tell you that there are 365 islands in Clew Bay, one for every day of the year. Islands of drowned drumlins which were formed by stone and gravel dropped from melting ice at the end of the last Ice Age.
South Connemara, County Galway
A maze of islands, some linked to the mainland by causeways and bridges.
Copeland Islands, County Down
Three small islands off the coast near Donaghadee - Big Copeland was formerly inhabited, Lighthouse Island is the location of a bird observatory and Mew Island is the location of the lighthouse.
Dalkey, County Dublin
A small uninhabited island 300m off Dalkey one of Dublin's most affluent suburbs.
Dún Briste, County Mayo
This spectacular sea stack was joined to the mainland until 1393.
Dursey Island, County Cork
Dursey has, since 1969, been connected to the mainland by the only cable car in Ireland.
Duvillaun More, County Mayo
Off the Mullet, no longer populated Duvillaun is home to sea birds and has early christiian ruins and crosses.
Garinish or Ilnacullin, County Cork
A superb garden in West Cork with many plants which need a mild frost free climate.
Gola, County Donegal
A formerly populated island now only occupied by summer visitors, rock climbers and sea kayakers.
Gweedore and the Rosses, County Donegal
A group of large and small islands some of which are are inhabited while others have some summer residents.
Heir Island, County Cork
In Roaring Water Bay, Heir is a lowlying attractive island wtih lots of summer houses.
High Island, County Galway
Off the coast of Connemara, owned by Richard Murphy, a poet, until 1998, this island is the subject of a book - High Island - An Irish monastery in the Atlantic.
Ilnacullin or Garinish, County Cork
A superb garden in West Cork with many plants which need a mild frost free climate.
InishBofin, County Galway
The largest of a group of islands it is the only one inhabited. An attractive, low lying, fertile island with a fine harbour.
InishBofin, County Donegal
A small island between the coast and Tory.
Inishglora, County Mayo
Off the Mullet Inishglora has early christian ruins.
Inishkea, County Mayo
Formerly inhabited, these islands are the winter home for thousands of barnacle geese which spend the summer in Greenland. The islands were abandoned a few years after a terrible drowning tragedy in October 1927.
Inis Meáin, County Galway
The middle island of the Aran Islands.
Inshmurray, County Sligo
Inishmurray people made part of their living by distilling and selling poteen. One of the essential ingredients, sugar, became expensive and scarce during the Second World War and the island was abandoned in 1948. The island has fine early christian ruins.
Inis Oirr, County Galway
The easternmost and smallest of the Aran Islands.
Inishtrahull, County Donegal
North of Malin Head, Inishtrahull is at the very farthest north of Ireland. Except for lighthousekeepers the island was abandoned in 1928.
Inishturk, County Mayo
Inishturk is a rugged island in the Atlantic with beautiful beaches. On August 15 each year there is a pilgrimage to nearby Caher Island which has some fine early Christian ruins.
Ireland's Eye, County Dublin
A small island off near the fishing and sailboat harbour at Howth an affluent suburb of Dublin.
The island is a Special Protection Area (SPA) under the E.U. Birds Directive and is one of the five sites in Ireland where gannets breed.
Lambay, County Dublin
A privately owned island with an early 20th century house designed by Edward Lutyens for Cecil Baring a wealthy banker.
The island is a bird sanctuary and a Special Protection Area (SPA) under the E.U. Birds Directive
Mainis, Co. Galway
Maínis or Mweenish Island in South Connemara.
Omey Island, County Galway
Inhabited since prehistoric times, Omey can be reached at low tide by walking or driving across the sand from the mainland. High Island, site of an early Christian monastery is not far away.
Puffin Island, County Kerry
The name says it all. The island is a bird reserve.
Rathlin Island, County Antrim
Off the north coast of Antrim. Scotland is easily visible only a few miles away.
Roaring Water Bay, County Cork
A group of islands in West Cork. In summer the bay is crowded with sailboats and the islands have many holiday homes.
Saltee Islands, County Wexford
The Saltees are a wonderful place for birdwatchers. The late owner, Prince Michael the First declared that all people, young and old, are welcome to come, see and enjoy the islands, and leave them as they found them for the unborn generations to come.
Scariff and Deenish, County Kerry
Scariff and Deenish are tow small, now uninhabited islands in Derrynane Bay, County Kerry. There are is one habitable house on Deenish and ruins a couple of others. The 1911 census recorded one family on the island. The two islands form a Special Protection Area (SPA) under the EU Birds Directive.
Scattery Island - Inis Cathaigh, County Clare
Set in the Shannon Estuary, a few minutes by ferry from Kilrush, Scattery has monastic ruins including an impressive Round Tower..
Sherkin Island, County Cork
Set in Roaring Water Bay, a few minutes by ferry from Baltimore, Sherkin has lovely beaches and many holiday homes.
Skellig Rocks, County Kerry
Two spectacular rocks in the Atlantic, one is the site of the second largest gannet colony in the world. The other, Skellig Michael, rises steeply to 200 metres above the sea and was inhabited by monks from early christian times until the Middle Ages. There are well preserved stone beehvie huts used by the monks.
Off Skerries, County Dublin
Seabirds, a lighthouse, a martello tower and some early christian ruins.
Tory Island, County Donegal
Irelands most remote inhabited island can be cut off by winter storms, when helicopters have to be used for supplies and medical emergencies
Stags of Broad Haven, County Mayo
Five spectacular remote islets about 2km north of Benwee Head in northwest Mayo, large numbers of seabirds, inlcluding the rare Leach's Storm Petrel, breed on the islets.
Valentia Island, County Kerry
Valentia, a large and populous island, has been linked to the mainland by bridge since 1971. Points of interest include old slate quarries, an early transatlantic cable station and some excellent dinosaur footprints.

Click for Regional Maps

Click on the for Region Maps

Census figures 1841 to 2011

Dave Walsh's Guide to Irish Islands

Dave Walsh's guide though devoted to islands primarily from a sea kayaking point of view, includes a great deal of general information about nearly all the islands around the coast. See particularly the Oileáin page and download the file.
Comhdháil Oileáin na hÉireann
Discover ireland's Islands
Sources: Population figures:
Census of Ireland 1851, 1901 & 1971 onwards plus census results as published in various books.

Sources of Photos:
Thanks to Dave Walsh and Sean Pierce of the Irish Sea Kayaking Association for all photos marked DW or SP. Thanks to Guenter Friedrichs for all photographs marked GF.
Click for a page of Books

Books about Irish Islands

Oileáin - David Walsh
Published by Pesda Press - June 2004
Ireland's Islands
Text - Peter Somerville Large, Photos - David Lyons
(Published by Gill & McMillan - November 1999)
Discover the Islands of Ireland - Alex Ritsema
(Published by Collins Press, Cork - June 1999)
The Islands of Ireland, Kenneth McNally
(Published by B.T. Batsford Ltd - 1978)
The Islands of Ireland, T.H. Mason
(Published by B.T. Batsford Ltd - 1936)
Words for Island:
Irish: Oileán or Inis
Viking: ey (more)


Eileen Battersby's account of a visit to

Gabriel Cooney's review of
High Island - An Irish monastery in the Atlantic
High Island
Chris Duff from On Celtic Tides
InishTurk and Caher | Inishbofin (Donegal)
Achillbeg | Saltee
Declan Kiberd from Irish Classics
Rita Nolan from Within the Mullet
Duvillaunmore | Inishglora | Inishkea
Jane Powers on Gardening
Ilnacullin or Garinish
Tim Robinson review of An Aran Keening
Christopher Somerville Inishbofin | Omey Island
J M Synge The Aran Islands
Michael Viney from Another Life
On Grey Seals | Achill | Clare Island
Clew Bay | Duvillaunmore | Inishkea
Brian Wilson from Dances with Waves
Gola | Skelligs

South West West North West Saltee Islands Rathlin Island East

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