This gets my vote for most favourite place so far…I wonder how many times I will say that whilst on this adventure? Anyway being my favourite so far I found it hard to pick which pictures to include, therefore not a lot of text but 23 pictures to compensate – enjoy!
I could so easily live here, happily. In some ways it is like stepping back in time, not a lot of modern influence here (except maybe internet and mobile phones). The cars all being of older vintage (and all with keys in the ignition), gravel roads, a small general store that opens for 3 hours a day. The pub is also the community centre and the library, the people very friendly and the houses modest.
The population of the island is 58 people, perfect for the islands size of 12.5 km (24 hectare size). This includes a mixture of fishermen, farmers (sheep), a publican, chef and bar staff, the ferry operators, a nurse, a postmaster (who operates from the porch of their home), a school teacher (for the 3 pupils in the primary school) and a few residents offering B&B accommodation to visitors.
We took the dingy to shore and was met by Paddy a local wandering the harbour who inquired of our origins and the boat (and was suitably impressed with our journey and how far from home we were), we then proceeded to walk the round island track and by the time we got ¾ of the way around we walked passed some American tourists staying on the island who asked if we were “the Aussies off the red yacht?” How is that for word of mouth and the bush telegraph – even the island visitors were told of our arrival.
We met Mikey & Maryanne local lobster fisherman (and brother in law of Paddy whom we met earlier at the warf). Mikey was kind enough to drop past two mornings to the boat (we were on a mooring buoy in the bay) after he had checked his pots and he dropped off a bag of crab claws each time. They always throw the crabs back that get in the pots but not before removing their delicious meaty claws – don’t worry they grow new ones). We also brought a lobster off him before we left. He was great to chat to and told us about island life with their always being room for more people on the island and that every new person always finds something productive to do.
It is hard to believe that back in 1841 the island sustained a population of over 600 people. According to Paddy, from the 600 people who lived here before the Great Famine over 400 died or left the island, many fleeing Ireland entirely, and the population never recovered. The 1951 census recorded 123 full-time Inishturk residents, and the 2016, 58.
We walked, I swam, we BBQ’d we enjoyed Inishturk. To me it’s the kind of place you would go to live if you wanted to write a novel and needed a perfect place to write, walk, breathe and live.