Islands of Ireland: What the Butler saw

The guitar-shaped Ormond’s Island lies close to the Cork/ Kerry border on the mountainous Beara Peninsula with the Kingdom just able to claim it by dint of a few kilometres.

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Islands of Ireland: Sketches from Illauneeragh

The first thing that strikes you about Illauneeragh is the ruined pier.

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Islands of Ireland: Legendary and historical Rabbit Island

THIS West Cork island near the mouth of Glandore Harbour is one of five Rabbit Islands in the country, with the others in Bantry Bay, Cork Harbour, Galway Bay and Lough Corrib

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Islands of Ireland: A testament to the human will

The charming village of Portmagee, Co Kerry, is known as the gateway to the Skellig islands and it hosts tens of thousands of people annually who take the 45-minute boat trip to the Unesco world heritage site.

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Islands of Ireland: Roeillaun - a hidden piece of paradise

The suits hang neatly on the rail of the caravan’s wardrobe. Shirts and ties are ready for wear. Colourful dresses complement the picture of a happy home life.

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Infamous Irishman’s part in the slave trade

How a scholar in Greek language and literature who studied at Trinity College Dublin became involved in an infamous incident in the notorious African slave trade is in some ways the conundrum of western civilisation.

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Islands of Ireland: Off with his head

This week we leave Ireland’s rocky shores and expand this series to take in global islands where Irish people have had a strong influence, whether malign or benign, writes Dan MacCarthy.

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The Islands of Ireland: Sanctuary at Harper’s Island

To the charge that Harper’s Island in Cork Harbour, with its three points of contact to the ‘mainland’, is not an island, the rebuttal affirming its island status: The area is defined by its natural history and not its current structures, writes Dan MacCarthy.

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Islands of Ireland: Star-crossed lovers of Trinity

The islands of Lough Key, Co Roscommon, are heavily wooded with the usual suspects: oak, beech, elm, holly, writes Dan MacCarthy.

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Islands of Ireland: Death of a chieftain at Lough Hyne

Perspective. From a kayak in front of Castle Island in the famous waters of Lough Hyne, West Cork, the ruins of a castle are evident. Barely, writes Dan MacCarthy.

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Islands of Ireland: Impressions of a shooting on Chapel Island, Bantry Bay

Bantry Bay: A beautiful vista with five green islands of various sizes decorating the harbour.

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Islands of Ireland: Middle Calf’s room with a view

It is an odd name for an island as though nothing of its own character is sufficient to define it. Only by reference to its fellows, and vice versa, does it gain identity. Calf Middle (Lao Mheán), flanked by Calf West and Calf East, lies in Roaringwater Bay, West Cork, three of the glorious Carbery’s Hundred Isles of poetic fame.

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Island Roy of the rovers

Island Roy is nestled in the southern reaches of Mulroy Bay near the village of Carrigart in the far north of the country. About 20km from Letterkenny.

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The islands of Ireland: On a wing and a prayer at Turbot Island

Turbot Island, Co Galway, has a very important place in aviation history being the first sighted land for the very first trans-Atlantic flight by John Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown on June 14 and 15, 1919.

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Islands of Ireland: Valour in the jaws of death

On the morning of November 28, 1881, the people of Dursey Island, Co Cork, looked out on the Calf Rock to an extraordinary sight. The tower of the lighthouse was gone, swept away in one of the most severe storms of the century. The lighthouse had been constructed in 1866 with its light 136ft high.

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Islands of Ireland: No satisfaction on St Patrick’s

Probably the most famous visitor ever to these shores landed on St Patrick’s Island, Co Dublin — St Patrick himself, writes Dan MacCarthy

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The Islands of Ireland: MacDermott’s castle in the air

The crows are the kings of Castle Island. Multitudes of them idle in the trees, screeching, or maraud around the battlements. This dark avian display adds to the Gothic nature of the place. Castle Island, Lough Key, Co Roscommon.

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Dernish in touch with the past

The past can be a lot closer than we imagine.

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Islands of Ireland: Flea Island a short hop away

Dan MacCarthy explores Flea Island near Castletownshend, Co Cork

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Islands of Ireland: Inishbiggle fights back

Though Inishbiggle may sound like the inspiration for the schoolboy adventures of Captain WE Johns, namely the Biggles series about a World War II pilot, it is in fact a corruption of the Irish Bigil whose origin is obscure.

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Islands of Ireland: Inishbarna, the philosopher’s stone

Here is a perfect rejoinder to anyone who is beginning to test your patience: “Unless a proposition is necessary, it is meaningless and approaching meaning zero.”

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Islands of Ireland: I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree

IT DOESN’T follow that just because it is one of our best-known, most-quoted poems that the locale which inspired it should also be one of our best known.

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Islands of Ireland: Time and tide wait for none

Among the more resonant placenames in Irish history is Killala Bay.

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Islands of Ireland: Tower of strength on Devenish

Approaching Devenish in Co Fermanagh through the rolling hills, rather than the rolling waves, the conical tip of a round tower peeps above the green fields. This is a great vantage point from which to inspire the faithful or watch out for the invader. And invaders there were too to this island monastery established by St Molaise in the sixth century.

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The Islands of Ireland: Currents Skeam against island life

Anarrow reef runs to the west of East Skeam in Roaringwaterbay in West Cork as another runs from the east of West Skeam. The rocks fail to meet and ultimately are separated by a very strong current.

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The Islands of Ireland: Pining for the island in the river

The jetty is a bit shaky and the timbers are rotted in places, but the wooden structure is sound enough to permit visitors to Illaunslea, Kenmare Bay, Co Kerry.

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Islands Of Ireland: Hit the Bull’s eye

It is a formidable place and one of Ireland’s truly great wild places. If the Wild Atlantic Way concept could be captured in its essence then surely Bull Rock at the tip of the Beara Peninsula in Co Cork is it.

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The Islands of Ireland: A place to Bere in mind

Well, of course, we did have bears, but not on Bere Island. The island is named after the peninsula and is derived from the Spanish princess Bera who was married to the first king of Munster, Eogan More.

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