Inishmore

Last updated

Inis Mór
Native name:
Árainn Mhór
Inishmore Central.jpg
A view over the karst landscape on Inis Mór from Dún Aonghasa
Island of Ireland location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Inis Mór
Geography
Location Atlantic Ocean
Coordinates 53°07′25″N9°43′39″W / 53.12361°N 9.72750°W / 53.12361; -9.72750 Coordinates: 53°07′25″N9°43′39″W / 53.12361°N 9.72750°W / 53.12361; -9.72750
Area31 km2 (12 sq mi)
Length14 km (8.7 mi) [1]
Width3.8 km (2.36 mi) [1]
Administration
Province Connacht
County Galway
Demographics
Population845 (2011)
The Aran Islands Aranislandssatmap.jpg
The Aran Islands
Gravestone 2017-06-16 4904x7356 inishmore gravestone.jpg
Gravestone
Beach on Inis Mor White Beach on Inishmore (6023716363).jpg
Beach on Inis Mór
Cill Ronain Inishmore - 000.jpg
Cill Rónáin
Photograph from within Dun Aonghusa on Inis Mor in Galway Bay, Ireland, a prehistoric coastal hill fort Dun Aonghusa internal.jpg
Photograph from within Dún Aonghusa on Inis Mór in Galway Bay, Ireland, a prehistoric coastal hill fort

Inis Mór (Irish : Árainn [Irish pronunciation:  [ˈɑːɾən̠ʲ] ] Loudspeaker.svg listen  , Irish : Árainn Mhóror Irish : Inis Mór) is the largest of the Aran Islands in Galway Bay in Ireland and has an area of 31 km2 (12 sq mi). Inis Mór has a population of about 840, making it the largest of the Aran Islands in terms of population and largest island off the Irish coast with no bridge or causeway to the mainland. The island is famous for its strong Irish culture, loyalty to the Irish language, and a wealth of Pre-Christian and Christian ancient sites including Dún Aonghasa, described as "the most magnificent barbaric monument in Europe" by George Petrie. [2]

Contents

Name

Prior to the 20th century, the island was more commonly called Inis Bant or as Árainn na Naomh. The modern Irish name, Árainn Mhór, (which translates as "Great Aran" in English) leads to some confusion with Arranmore, County Donegal. [3] The Irish word Árainn means "long ridge", presumably referring to the island's geography. Árainn is the legal placename in Irish or English as declared in the Official Languages Act 2003.

Geology and geography

The island is an extension of the Burren. The terrain of the island is composed of limestone pavements with crisscrossing cracks known as "grikes", leaving isolated rocks called "clints". The limestones date from the Visean period (Lower Carboniferous), formed as sediments in a tropical sea approximately 350 million years ago, and compressed into horizontal strata with fossil corals, crinoids, sea urchins and ammonites. Glaciation following the Namurian phase facilitated greater denudation. The result is that Inis Mór and the other islands are among the finest examples of Glacio-Karst landscape in the world. The effects of the last glacial period (the Midlandian) are most in evidence, with the island overrun by ice during this glaciation. The impact of earlier Karstification (solutional erosion) has been eliminated by the last glacial period. So any Karstification now seen dates from approximately 10,000 years ago and the island Karst is thus recent.

Solutional processes have widened and deepened the grikes of the limestone pavement. Pre-existing lines of weakness in the rock (vertical joints) contribute to the formation of extensive fissures separated by clints (flat pavement like slabs). The rock karstification facilitates the formation of sub-terrainean drainage.

Towns and villages

Flora and fauna

The island supports arctic, Mediterranean and alpine plants side by side, due to the unusual environment. Like the Burren, the Aran islands are known for their unusual assemblage of plants and animals. [4] The grikes (crevices) provide moist shelter, thus supporting a wide range of plants including dwarf shrubs. Where the surface of the pavement is shattered into gravel, many of the hardier Arctic or alpine plants can be found. But when the limestone pavement is covered by a thin layer of soil, patches of grass are seen, interspersed with plants like the gentian and orchids. Insects present include the butterfly the pearl-bordered fritillary (Boloria euphrosyne), brown hairstreak (Thecla betulae), marsh fritillary (Euphydryas aurinia) and wood white (Leptidea sinapis); the moths, the burren green (Calamia tridens), Irish annulet (Gnophos dumetata) and transparent burnet (Zygaena purpuralis); and the hoverfly Doros profuges .

Tourism

Na Seacht dTeampaill (The Seven Churches), Inis Mor Teampall Brecan - geograph.org.uk - 1471024.jpg
Na Seacht dTeampaill (The Seven Churches), Inis Mór

Inis Mór today is a major tourist destination, with bed and breakfast accommodation scattered across the island. Private minibuses, horse-drawn carriages and bicycles are the main methods of getting about for the numerous tourists who visit the island in the summer months.

There is a small museum illustrating the history of Dún Aonghasa and its possible functions, while the Aran Sweater Market is also a focal point for visitors who can trace the culture and history associated with the Aran sweater through the on-site museum. Nearby are a Neolithic tomb and a small heritage park at Dún Eochla, featuring examples of a traditional thatched cottage and poteen distillery. [5] The Tempull Breccain (Church of Brecan), commonly called the Seven Churches of Aran, is a complex of churches and other buildings dedicated to the 5th-century Saint Brecan, once a popular destination for pilgrims. [6] In the centre of the island, at its highest point is the Inishmore Lighthouse, it was decommissioned in 1857 and replaced by the lights at Eeragh and Inisheer. [7]

The island plays host to Ted Fest each year. Established in 2004 it is a celebration of the television sitcom Father Ted . Festival goers dress as their favourite characters, watch their favourite episodes and take part in various Ted related events and competitions.

Sport

Some of the limestone sea cliffs have attracted interest from rock-climbers. [8] Diving is possible.[ ambiguous ] A particularly popular location for this is Poll na bPéist (hole of worms/sea monsters), located at the southern coast of the island, which is a large naturally formed rectangular pool communicating via underground channels with the sea. [9] Since 2012 Inis Mór has hosted an event as part of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series.

Transport

The island is serviced by Aran Ferries ferry from Rossaveal and Doolin. These are passenger-only ferries; cars and heavy goods are transported on unscheduled services.

Aer Arann Islands runs daily scheduled flights from Inis Mór Aerodrome to Connemara Airport using Britten Norman Islander aircraft.

The island features heavily in Martin McDonagh's play The Lieutenant of Inishmore .

Inis Mór was used as a recording location for the 1997 film The Matchmaker and the 2010 film Leap Year .

The first story in These Precious Hours by Michel Corrigan has a scene set on Inis Mór.

The island appeared on the premiere episode of The Amazing Race 12 with teams needing to find Teampall Bheanáin after they arrived. [10]

The music video for Dermot Kennedy's "For Island Fires and Family" (video released 10 January 2019) was filmed entirely on Inis Mór. [11] [12]

Notable inhabitants

Aran in the Irish annals

Annals of Inisfallen (AI)

Demographics

The table below reports data on Inis Mór's population taken from Discover the Islands of Ireland (Alex Ritsema, Collins Press, 1999) and the Census of Ireland.

Historical population
YearPop.±%
18412,592    
18512,312−10.8%
18612,281−1.3%
18712,110−7.5%
18812,178+3.2%
18911,979−9.1%
19011,941−1.9%
19111,768−8.9%
19261,363−22.9%
YearPop.±%
19361,286−5.6%
19461,133−11.9%
19511,016−10.3%
1956941−7.4%
1961933−0.9%
1966925−0.9%
1971864−6.6%
1979883+2.2%
1981891+0.9%
YearPop.±%
1986848−4.8%
1991836−1.4%
1996838+0.2%
2002831−0.8%
2006824−0.8%
2011 845+2.5%
2016762−9.8%
Source: Central Statistics Office. "CNA17: Population by Off Shore Island, Sex and Year". CSO.ie. Retrieved 12 October 2016. 2016 population: "CSO Statbank E2021".

Annalistic references

AI=Annals of Inisfallen. (AF)M=Annals of the Four Masters.

Related Research Articles

Galway Bay Large bay, western Ireland

Galway Bay is a large bay on the west coast of Ireland, between County Galway in the province of Connacht to the north and the Burren in County Clare in the province of Munster to the south. Galway city is located on the northeast side of the bay. The bay is about 50 kilometres (31 mi) long and from 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) to 30 kilometres (19 mi) in breadth. The Aran Islands are to the west across the entrance and there are numerous small islands within the bay. To the west of Galway, the rocks are granite but to the south they are limestone.

Aran Islands Group of three islands on the west coast of Ireland

The Aran Islands or The Arans are a group of three islands located at the mouth of Galway Bay, on the west coast of Ireland, with a total area of about 46 km2 (18 sq mi). They constitute the barony of Aran in County Galway, Ireland.

The Burren Glaciated karst landscape region in northwest County Clare, Ireland

The Burren is a region of environmental interest primarily located in northwestern County Clare, Ireland, dominated by glaciated karst landscape. It measures, depending on the definition, between 250 square kilometres (97 sq mi) and 560 square kilometres (220 sq mi). The name is most often applied to the area within the circle made by the villages of Tubber, Corofin, Kilfenora, Lisdoonvarna, and Ballyvaughan, and Kinvara in extreme south-western Galway, including the adjacent coastline.

The Conmhaícne Mara or Conmaicne Mara, were an early people of Ireland. Their tuath settled in the extreme west of County Galway, giving their name to Connemara, an anglicised form of Conmhaicne Mara.

Inishmaan island on the west coast of Ireland

Inishmaan is the middle of the three main Aran Islands in Galway Bay on the west coast of Ireland. It is part of County Galway in the province of Connacht. Inishmaan has a population of about 183, making it the smallest of the Aran Islands in terms of population. It is one of the most important strongholds of traditional Irish culture. The island is predominantly Irish-speaking and part of the Gaeltacht, though all inhabitants have knowledge of English.

This is a bibliography of works relating to the Aran Islands.

Saint Enda of Aran is an Irish saint. His feast day is 21 March.

Inisheer island on the westcoast of Ireland

Inis Oírr or Inisheer is the smallest and most eastern of the three Aran Islands in Galway Bay, Ireland. With about 260 permanent residents, it is more populous than Inishmaan but less than Inishmore. Caomhán of Inis Oírr is the island's patron saint. There are five primary settlements on Inis Oírr, including Baile Thiar, Baile an tSéipéil (Chapeltown), Baile an Chaisleáin, Baile an Fhormna and Baile an Lorgain.

Inis Cathaigh island

Inis Cathaigh or Scattery Island is an island in the Shannon Estuary, Ireland, off the coast of Kilrush, County Clare. The Irish name Inis Cathaigh was formerly anglicised Iniscathy, which later became Iniscattery and finally Scattery. The island is home to a lighthouse, a ruined monastery, an Irish round tower and the remains of an artillery battery. The last residents left in 1969.

Saint Colman mac Duagh was born at Corker, Kiltartan, County Galway, Ireland, the son of the Irish chieftain Duac. He initially lived as a recluse, living in prayer and prolonged fastings, first on Inismore, then in a cave at the Burren in County Clare. With his relative, King Guaire Aidne mac Colmáin of Connacht he founded the monastery of Kilmacduagh,, and governed it as abbot-bishop.

Kingdom of Breifne former country

The Kingdom of Breifne or Bréifne was a medieval overkingdom in Gaelic Ireland. It comprised what is now County Leitrim, County Cavan and parts of neighbouring counties, and corresponds roughly to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kilmore. It had emerged by the 10th century, as a confederation of túatha headed by an overking drawn from the Uí Briúin Bréifne.

Ted Fest

The Friends of Ted Festival, or Ted Fest, is an annual fan convention held on the island of Inishmore, off the coast of County Galway, Ireland for fans of the Channel 4 sitcom Father Ted. The series was set on the fictional Craggy Island off Ireland's west coast, so Ted Fest is also held on such an island. In 2010 the festival expanded to an Australian edition, which was held in Parkes, New South Wales.

Corcomroe (barony) Place in Munster, Ireland

Corcomroe is a barony in County Clare, Ireland. It is the southern half of the Gaelic tuath of Corco Modhruadh.

Inishmore Aerodrome airport in Kilronan, Ireland

Inis Mór Aerodrome is located 1 nautical mile southeast of Kilronan, a town on the island of Inis Mór, one of the Aran Islands off the coast of County Galway in Ireland. It has one paved runway designated 14/32 which measures 490 by 18 m.

Timothy Drever Robinson was an English writer and cartographer. His most famous works include books about Ireland's Aran Islands and Connemara, in the West of Ireland. He was also well known for producing exceptionally detailed maps of the Aran Islands, The Burren, and Connemara, what he called "the ABC of earth wonders".

Inisheer Aerodrome airport in Ireland

Inisheer Aerodrome is located on the island of Inisheer, one of the Aran Islands in Galway Bay off the coast of County Galway, Ireland. This aerodrome is licensed by the Aeronautical Services Department of the Irish Aviation Authority.

Inishmaan Aerodrome airport in Ireland

Inishmaan Aerodrome is located on the island of Inishmaan, one of the Aran Islands in Galway Bay off the coast of County Galway, Ireland. This aerodrome is licensed by the Aeronautical Services Department of the Irish Aviation Authority.

Mathgamain mac Toirdhealbhach Mantach Ó Briain, Chief of the Name of the Clan Teige Ó Briain of Aran, died 1565.

Nem Moccu Birn, Abbot of Aran, died 14 June 654.

Dún Dúchathair stone fort in County Galway, Ireland

Dún Dúchathair or simply Dúchathair, meaning "black fort", is a large stone fort on the cliffs at Cill Éinne, (Killeany), Inishmore in County Galway, Ireland. Due to erosion, it now sits on a rocky promontory that stretches out into the sea. On its outer side there are large walls, reaching 6 metres high and 5 metres wide. On the inside are the ruins of clocháns. There is also evidence of a cheval de frise protecting the entrance.

References

  1. 1 2 "Inishmore - Árainn". www.discoverireland.ie. Fáilte Ireland . Retrieved 7 April 2015.
  2. "The Best of Ancient Ireland". Frommer's. Retrieved 1 March 2009.
  3. Fodor's Travel Publications, Inc. (2011). Fodor's See It Ireland. Fodor's Travel Publications. p. 207. ISBN   978-1-4000-0553-6.
  4. Webb, D. A. (1961–1963). "Noteworthy Plants of the Burren: A Catalogue Raisonné". Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, Section B . Royal Irish Academy. 62: 117–34. ISSN   0035-8983. JSTOR   20494847 via JSTOR.
  5. Mario De Carli. "Prehistoric Forts". Archived from the original on 7 September 2016. Retrieved 1 March 2009.
  6. Harbison, Peter (1 April 1995). Pilgrimage in Ireland: The Monuments and the People. Syracuse University Press. pp. 93ff. ISBN   978-0-8156-0312-2.
  7. Rowlett, Russ. "Lighthouses of Western Ireland (Ulster and Connacht)". The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill . Retrieved 7 June 2020.
  8. "Aran Islands - Irish Climbing Online Wiki". wiki.climbing.ie.
  9. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 17 May 2013. Retrieved 8 October 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. Rocchio, Christopher (5 November 2007). "Ari Bonas, Staella Gianakakos eliminated from 'The Amazing Race 12'". Reality TV World. Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  11. "WATCH: Dermot Kennedy's stunning new video set on the Aran Islands". JOE.ie. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  12. "Dermot Kennedy releases new video filmed on Inis Mór". 13 January 2019.Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  13. Gillan, P. J. (1 January 2004). "Bridget Dirrane" via The Guardian.
  14. Eyman, Scott. Print the Legend: The Life and Times of John Ford. New York: Simon & Schuster. 1999. ISBN   0-684-81161-8 (excerpt c/o New York Times )