Encapsulated in the Saw Doctor’s song ‘The Green and Red of Mayo’, Clare Island is located 3.5 miles off the west coast of County Mayo, Ireland. The ferry crossing from Roonagh Pier takes 25 minutes and there is every chance that you will be accompanied on your journey by a school of dolphins and or a herd of seals. Clare Island is the largest (5 miles long and 3 miles wide) of the 365 islands in Clew Bay. Famous as the ancestral home of the legendary Pirate Queen Grace O’Malley (Granuaile), she has a population of about 160 people; economic activities include farming, fishing and tourism with numerous other small businesses also supporting a vibrant community.
Achill has a long history of human settlement and there is evidence that Achill was inhabited as many as 5000 years ago. Megalithic tombs and promontory forts testifying to this can be seen at Slievemore, along the atlantic drive and on Achill Beg Island.