Inis Tuaisceart (Inishtooskert) and Inis Mhic Aoibhleáin (Inishvickillane)

IMG_2123Here’s my June 5th photo of Inis Tuaisceart, the northernmost of the Blasket Islands – also known as An Fear Marbh (the dead man) or the sleeping giant due to its appearance when seen from the east. This island houses important seabird colonies, as well as extensive ruins of ancient stone buildings.

Inis Mhic Aoibhleáin is one of the Blasket Islands of County Kerry, Ireland. Referred to by Blasket islanders as “The Inis”, Inishvickillane was intermittently inhabited during the 19th and early 20th centuries, by one or more families. There are extensive ruins of ancient stone buildings and a house was built in the 1970s by the late former Taoiseach Charles Haughey, who owned the island and used it as a holiday home. I took this photo on Day 18 of our Maymester trip – going over the Clasach from Ventry to Dunquin – a gorgeous journey.

When I was a Visiting Scholar in the Blasket Centre during the spring of 2011, the Centre was just ready to display Haughey’s archive, and I was fortunate to be able to examine some of those documents and build deeper context between the islands and modern life in Ireland.

From the April 11, 2011 Irish Times article, Haughey’s Inishvickillane archive goes on display in Blasket Island centre

“A collection of papers and photographs documenting the relationship between the late Charles Haughey and Inishvickillane, the most southerly of the Blasket Islands, has gone on display at the Blasket Island centre in Dún Chaoin, west of Dingle.

Nine miles off the coast of Kerry, the 170-acre island, which was purchased by Mr Haughey in the 1970s and is still owned by his family, was also a world stage, a nature reserve and a centre of public fascination, according to the papers, now fully archived and also available in digital format.”

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