I was on Inis Mór to do a half marathon for Temple Street Childrens Hospital. I felt it only right to seperate the two and give the island a post to itself.
Getting to the island can be done in a few ways but our journey started on the Friday from Aer arann airport in Galway and this audio with Nick McGivney describes the check in procedures.
In a little 9 seater plane I sat in the co – pilot seat as we took a highly recommended Aer Arann plane journey to Inis Mór which takes about 15 minutes. The tail end of this video shows Inis Mór airport. Surprisingly it’s quite a busy one.
I took this video from outside the Ard Einne guesthouse. What is of interest if you look closely, is the amount of walls on the island. They are simply amazing if nothing else for the fact that the stones so loosely sit on top of each other and if slightly touched will fall off. However the extremes of weather couldn’t do so, hard as they may try. Clodagh tells me the reason they don’t fall is because the wind blows through them.
The island itself is the largest of the Arann Islands and sits about 13km off the coast of Galway. It measures about 14km x 3.8km. It is considered a Gaeltacht island [irish speaking] and hosts a population of about 800 people. There are a few varied spellings to its name but I prefer Inis Mór as it seems to be the one used locally.
Prior to the 20th century, the island was more commonly called Aranmore, or as Árainn na Naomh (Irish: Árainn Mhór) (i.e. “Great Aran”) in English; from the traditional Irish name, leading to confusion with Arranmore, County Donegal. The Irish word Árainn means “long ridge” which is an apt description for the island. The name Inishmore was invented by the British Ordnance Survey in the mid-19th century. The new name is grammatically incorrect in Irish: because inis “island” is a feminine noun, a following adjective must be lenited, so the expected name would be Inis Mhór. Árainn is still the official Irish name.
The boat journey became the choice of return transport… this short video explains why
Lasting about 45 minutes the sailing was a journey I was glad to take.
I loved Inis Mór. The people are so very friendly, extremely kind and very much part of the reason I would go back. Whilst I did run, jog, walk crawl an approximate 20 km of the island I did only have a short stay. The islands beaches and views are just beautiful and the easiest way to get around these it seems is to hire a bike or to take a horse and cart trip. Of the places I did get to I can highly recommend:
Of use for travelling and information is:
If anyone has any further information on Inis Mór or lives there it would be great to here from you.
And as Clodagh would like to say:
Go mbeireadh muid beo an bhlian seo chugainn – May we be alive this time next year!