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55 Islands to explore in Ireland

Ireland

A country in the north-western Europe. Ireland, or Republic of Ireland shares its only border with Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom. It is surrounded by the ocean in all it's other sides. About 40% of the countries 5 million population lives in the greater city area of Dublin.

Achillbeg
AchillbegAchillbeg, Achillbeg Island, Co. Mayo, Ireland

Achillbeg is a small island in County Mayo, Ireland, just off the southern tip of Achill Island. Achillbeg is situated south of Cloghmore, northeast of Calliagherom Rock. The main settlement was in the centre of the island, bounded by two hills to the north and south. There are a small number of holiday homes on the island, but they are usually empty for most of the year.

Ardoileán
ArdoileánArdoileán, High Island, Co. Galway, Ireland

Ardoileán, is a small island off the northwest coast of Connemara in County Galway, Ireland. It was once the site of an early Irish monastic community. It is one of thirty-odd islands off the west coast of Ireland, between Inishtrahull and Clear Island, which were settled by hermits and monastic communities in the early Christian period.

Aughinish
AughinishAughinish, Co. Clare, Ireland

Aughinish is a small island and townland located in Oughtmama Parish of the Barony of Burren in north County Clare, in Ireland on the south shore of Galway Bay. The island was originally connected to County Clare, but in 1755 that connection was lost due to the tsunami effect of the massive Portuguese earthquake.

Bannow Island
Bannow IslandBannow Island, Co. Wexford, Ireland

Bannow Island is an island in County Wexford. Bannow Island is situated northwest of Clammers Point, north of Selskar Rock. It is a beautiful beach that is heavily affected by the tide. There are rock pools to be enjoyed at the right side of the beach as you walk onto it, loads of little creatures to be found. It is well worth a visit if you’re looking for somewhere to go for a few hours.

Boa Island
Boa IslandBoa Island, Enniskillen BT93 8AE, UK

Boa Island is an island near the north shore of Lower Lough Erne in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. It is the largest island in Lough Erne, approximately 8 km long, and relatively narrow. It features a counterscarp rath as well as carved stones, graveyard and enclosure, all in Dreenan townland and all Scheduled Historic Monuments. The oldest stone monument on the island is a denuded cairn at Inishkeeragh Bridge near the southern tip of the island.

Caher Island
Caher IslandCaher Island, Co. Mayo, Ireland

Caher Island, an uninhabited island off the coast of County Mayo in Ireland, is situated between the larger Clare Island and Inishturk. An ancient centre for pilgrimage, it is still visited for this reason today. On 15 August each year, the Feast of the Assumption, there is a pilgrimage to the island.The island has an Early Christian monastery with the remains of a chapel in an enclosure and several carved slabs. The island appears to hold the remains of hermitages of seventh century monks.

Castle Island, Lough Key
Castle Island, Lough KeyCastle Island, Lough Key, Rockingham Demesne, Co. Roscommon, Ireland

Lost in the middle of the lake of Lough Key is a small island and its castle: Castle Island. Beautiful, it once belonged to the most influential family in the Roscommon area and is one of the jewels of the lake. The only condition to admire it: take the boat. The island is sometimes referred to as Mac Dermots Island to this day. We first hear of a castle Island when the Annals of Loch Cé report that it was burned down in 1187 by lightning.

Collanmore Island
Collanmore IslandCollanmore Island, Co. Mayo, Ireland

Collanmore is a private and unique island in Clew Bay, only 12 minutes from Westport. It is overlooked by the majestic Croagh Patrick and is located in an area of outstanding beauty. From Collanmore there are views of Croagh Patrick and the bay. It is accessed by boat from Rosmoney pier, a few kilometres from Westport, County Mayo.

Coney Island,
Coney Island,Coney Island, County Sligo, Coney Island, Co. Sligo, Ireland

Coney Island is the largest and the most famous of the three islands off the northern coast of the Coolera peninsula. It is an island of approximately 400 acres and is named after the vast quantity of rabbits which can be spotted on the island at any time. The island which is 1½ miles long by ¾ mile across is accessible by boat from the pier at Rosses Point, but the most popular route is by way of Cummeen Strand when the tide is out.

Cruit Island
Cruit IslandCruit Island, Anna Island, Co. Donegal, Ireland

Cruit Island is one of the main islands of the Rosses, now joined to the mainland near Kincasslagh. The island resembles a harp just enough to allow the more poetically minded to opt for that derviation. Cruit is one of only two inhabited islands in the Rosses, the other being Arranmore, a big change from the time, just a generation ago, when most of the islands of any size were populated.

Dernish Island
Dernish IslandDernish Island, Co. Sligo, Ireland

The beautiful island of Dernish is located at Carns, off the coast of Moneygold, close to the old church at Ahamlish, in Carbury, the ancient kingdom of North Sligo. It is a tidal island, cut off from the mainland except at times of spring tides, when it is possible to walk out across the beach from O'Connor's Island.

Devenish Island
Devenish IslandDevenish Island, Enniskillen BT74, UK

Devenish is an L-Shaped island of 70 acres at the South end of Lower Lough Erne. This is one of a chain of Island monasteries in both Upper and Lower Lough Erne. Devenish was an important port of call on one of Early Christian Ireland’s major highways. Take the ferry or water bus across the beautiful Lough Erne, and soak up the beautiful sights and magnificent history at this wonderful display of Irish history.

Dursey Island
Dursey IslandDursey Island, Co. Cork, Ireland

Dursey Island is situated on the western tip of the Beara Peninsula in West Cork and separated from the mainland by the Dursey Sound, a narrow stretch of water. The island is separated from the mainland by a narrow stretch of water, Dursey Sound, which has a very strong tidal race, with the submerged Flag Rock close to the centre of the channel. The island has just six or so permanent residents, and is connected to the mainland by Ireland's only cable car.

Fota Island
Fota IslandFota Island, Foaty, Co. Cork, Ireland

Fota is an island in Cork Harbour, Ireland, just north of the larger island of Great Island. Fota Island is host to Ireland's only wildlife park – as well as the historical Fota House and gardens and golf course owned by the "Fota Island Golf Club and Resort". The island comprises two townlands both called Foaty: one each in the civil parishes of Clonmel (the western half of Great Island) and Carrigtohill.

Gola Island
Gola IslandGola Island, Co. Donegal, Ireland

The Gola Island covers about one square mile (500 acres) and is situated about one mile from the pier at Machaire Gathlán. It is hilly on its west side, rising to 238 feet at Cnoc an Choillín and 212 feet at An Mhaol Mhór, and these hills shelter the houses that stretch in a ribbon along the east side. Gola islanders are renowned for their skills as mariners and fishermen and story-tellers.

Gorumna
GorumnaMaumeen, Gorumna, Co. Galway, Ireland

Gorumna is an island on the west coast of Ireland, forming part of County Galway The Island is linked with the mainland through the Béal an Daingin Bridge. Gorumna properly consists of three individual islands in close proximity, Lettermullen, Teeranea and Lettermore. It is mostly underlain by intrusive Devonian-aged Galway Granite that formed from crustal melting as a result of the Caledonian Orogeny in the late Silurian.

Great Saltee
Great SalteeGreat Saltee, Saltee Island Great, Co. Wexford, Ireland

The Great Saltee Island is an island that belongs to the Saltee Islands archipelago. Located 5 kilometres off the south coast of County Wexford. It is the largest island in the archipelago, and is considered a true wonder of the region. The islands are a breeding ground for fulmar, gannet, shag, kittiwake, guillemot, razorbill, puffin and grey seal. An area surrounding the island was granted the status of a Special Protection Area to protect the bird habitat.

Hare Island
Hare IslandHare Island, Hareisland, Co. Westmeath, Ireland
Haulbowline
HaulbowlineHaulbowline, Co. Cork, Ireland

Haulbowline Island was the location of Ireland's only steelworks which operated on the Island between 1939 and 2001. Waste from the steel production process was deposited on the Spit Bank, a shallow sand spit extending eastwards from the Naval Dockyard, from the early 1960's. The western side of the island is the main naval base and headquarters for the Irish Naval Service, with the eastern side previously used for heavy industry and later redeveloped as a park.

Heir Island
Heir IslandHeir Island, Co. Cork, Ireland

Heir Island is a great place to live, work and visit. One of the seven inhabited West Cork islands off the south coast of Ireland. Offering the visitor stunning views, walks, sandy beaches, a profusion of wildflowers and bird life, the island also hosts many events such as theatre, music, cookery courses, sailing, kayaking, yoga and more.

Map of Islands to explore in Ireland