The Road to Inisheer: Life on Ireland’s Aran Islands

The sound of waves breaking, children chatting in Gaelic and our ferry motoring away faded out quickly under the thick layer of mist tasked with keeping the island hidden from outsiders.

We, and a handful of other visitors, had arrived nonetheless. A windy, thirty-minute boat ride from Doolin delivered us to the equally windy, rocky shores of Inisheer.

Far from a place that exists for tourists, the Gaeltacht island and its inhabitants stick together all year round, even in winter when the majority of ferries stop running. Naturally, they rub off on each other, yielding a hardy people and an island with soul.

A network of roads allow the island to be easily circumnavigated in a day, winding among the stone walls, lively pastures, beaches, Celtic ruins and a rusting shipwreck.

Here’s what we saw through the fog on a quiet May morning in the Atlantic.



260 people

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    Kathy Myers
    May 13, 2016 at 7:15 pm

    You’ve captured the contrast of this land in your photos; peaceful and bucolic combined with harsh and treacherous— for boats anyway. Laurie and I may have distant ancestors buried in that cemetery. Our maiden name is Mc Ninch which I believe means from the island. We are a hardy stock.

    • Reply
      May 26, 2016 at 3:37 pm

      If I won the lottery tomorrow and decided to write a book or become a hermit, Inisheer is where I would buy my hut. It definitely seems like a place for the hardy. Imagine it in the dead of winter!

    Leave a Reply