Inishmurray Island

 

I mentioned Inishmurray Island in our bluebell feature. Inishmurray is a deserted island around 7 miles from Sligo. It’s a very special place, steeped in history and until this year visitors could get a day trip to the island with one of the local boat charters.

This has all stopped now due to Marine Survey Office attached to the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport. Last month they told the businesses that they are no longer allowed to bring people to the island with immediate effect.

The ban will stay in place “due to concerns for safety during embarking and disembarking” . There has never been an accident either before or after the last residents left in 1948. There is a natural harbour but the department say this is unsuitable for visitors.

I hope this matter gets sorted out as soon as possible. Not only for the local boatmen who took people over to the island but also for visitors. I’ve certainly never seen a place like it and I’d encourage anyone who gets the chance, if and when this matter gets sorted, to take a trip over.

The photo at the top of the post are the remains of an early Irish monastic settlement. St Molaise founded a monastery here in the 6th Century which was attacked by Vikings in 807. Remains of the 4.6 metres high by up to 3 metres thick wall can be seen enclosing the settlement which still contains some of the ecclesiastical buildings such as a stone-roofed oratory, two churches, a clochan, a bee-hive hut and other engraved slabs of stone such as what are rumoured to be “cursing stones”.

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