Cleasathon-Inis OírrEnglish Version Irish Version

 

Inis Oírr – Location

Inis Oírr island is situated off the west coast of Ireland in Galway Bay. It is one of the group of islands known as The Aran Islands. It has an ancient history, a vibrant Irish speaking population, beautiful scenery and a tranquil pace of life. The island can be accessed, all year-round, by plane from IndreabhánConamara, by ferry from Ros an Mhíl, Conamara or seasonly from Doolin, Co. Clare.

Inis Oírr Island Map.

                                   

Description of Inis Oírr                                                                                                      

This beautiful and picturesque limestone island is partly clothed in a thin layer of soil, with unique flora and fauna in some sections, while in others its bare limestone klint and grikes are visible. Inis Oírr has a year-round population of 250 people and is a Gaeltacht island. Evidence of the island's rich history, stretching right back to the stone age, adds to the attraction of the island. With a church, post office, shop, bars, restaurants & cafés, hotel, hostel, B&B's, campsite, sports facilities & playground, safe beach, community bus, craft outlets, arts centre and a community service co-op it does what it says on the tin.

                                                   Activities

Cleasathon Inis Oírr

The annual Cleasathon Inis Oírr events take place on Easter Saturday. Details of the 10 miler Adventure Run, the 13k Road Run and the 7k Road Run at http://www.cleasathon-inisoirr.info     

                                   

A taste of the Gaeltacht

For school groups interested in sampling Inis Oírr over a period of one or two days Cleas will organise a combination of activities for example a guided walking tour, workshops in crafts and traditional basket-making. For more information contact (099) 75979 or email: cleasteo@gmail.com

Swimming

Inis Oírr's long sandy beach, with its crystal clear waters, is considered a safe swimming area. During the day, in the summer, there is a lifeguard on duty here.

An Clós Spraoi playground

The sandy playground, with picnic facilities in a picturesque setting, lies close to the beach and is a haven for all.

Áras Éanna Art & Heritage Centre

Áras Éanna, (approx. 7mins walk from the pier) houses a visiting artists residency, exhibition gallery, theatre/concert area and a summertime café and is home to our Cleas Crafts shop, open throughout the year. It also houses our Cleas office. A large scale map displaying the Irish placenames of Inis Oírr can be viewed in the Cleas sales outlet on the ground floor. 

Local Products

There are quite a few seasonal craftshops in Inis Oírr. See Inis Oírr Craft Trail brochure for more details. 

Cleas, open throughout the year, produce and sell

We also sell a range of items and crafts made by other Inis Oírr craftspeople.                                         Our Cleas Crafts sales outlet is located  on the ground floor at the front of the Áras Éanna building.  For more information visit our website www.cleas-teoranta.com or contact 099 75979.  Email cleasteo@gmail.com

Other Services 

Public Transport on Inis Oírrr

The public transport service Síob an Phobail is on the road every day throughout the year. For details contact Tel: 099 75979 (Mon-Friday 9.00am -5.30pm) or 087 2298039. 

Translation Service

Cleas also runs a translation service. Contact 099 75979 or e-mail cleasaistriu@gmail.com         

Food and Pubs

Tigh Ned-Pub:- Food and Bar - Food is available every day during the tourism season, including, weather permitting, an island crab special. It also boasts a great beer garden situated only 15 metres from the magnificent Galway Bay. First established in 1897 the walls are covered in photographs and artifacts which depict traditional island life. Nightly traditional music sessions are a feature in the summer months. More information contact Bridie or Páraic Ó Conghaile Tel: +353 (0)99 75004.

Tigh Ruairí:- Accommodation, Food and Bar -Good food is served all day in this hospitable, friendly, family run pub. Seasonal seafood is also served here. This pub is centrally located on Inis Oírr and offers great hospitality and service throughout the year to the customer. Music is played here every night during the summer months. For further information please call +353 (0)99 75002.

Óstán Inis Oírr -Hotel:- Accommodation, Food and Bar -This is a family run hotel operated by the Flaherty family. The restaurant has an extensive menu offering traditional Irish fare alongside more modern options and bar food. The emphasis is on fresh seasonal seafood and fish caught by Inis Oírr's own fishermen. The hotel pub promises a great night out to its customers, with music here nightly during the summer months. Situated only 200m from the pier and just a 10 minute walk from the airstrip, no matter how you get to Inis Oírr, their door is close by.  Telephone: +353 (0)9975020.

Teach an Tae (Tea House):Food -Treat yourself to traditional baked goods, a cup of tea or fair trade coffee in this unique 1800's home. Enjoy our cosy fireplace or relax in the garden with views of the beach and castle. Located centrally, a hundred metres up from the beach. Now serving ice cream cones! For more information call Alissa +353 (0)99 75092.

Fisherman's Cottage Café:-Accommodation and Great homemade food and service. Contact Enda at +353 (0)99 75073.

Other Accommodation

Inis Oirr Island's Hostel

A family run hostel, centrally located on Inis Oírr. Situated beside ferry port, beach, shops, and pubs with traditional music nightly. There is a combination of 4-6 bedded dorms, family and private rooms all with breathtaking views of  Galway Bay. The hostel also has a large self catering kitchen and dining room as well as a common room with open fire, TV and video. Chosen as one of the best hostels in Ireland in Paul Kerr's "Hostels Ireland" guide. Open March- October: group bookings all year. IHH and Fáilte Ireland approved. For further information on the Inis Oírr Hostel: Tel +353 (0)99 75024.

Campsite

The licenced campsite is ideally situated, close to the beach, playground, shop, cafes and restaurants. There are toilet, shower and laundry facilities. For further information contact Comhar Caomhán Teo:099 75008. 

For a list of other accommodation and houses for rent e-mail: info@cleasathon-inisoirr.info                                             

                THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR & SITES WORTH VISITING 

CNOC RAITHNÍ  (Beside an Pháirc) This monument is a bronze age (c.1500 BC) burial mound rediscovered in 1885 when revealed by a sandstorm.

CAISLEÁN UÍ BHRIAIN & DÚN FORMNA FORT (on the hill overlooking the beach) The castle is a three storey tower house built by the O' Brien's who controlled the island from approximately 1190 to 1585. Caisleán Uí Bhriain is built within the walls of Dún Formna Fort which dates back to the Stone Age.

THE WATCH TOWER (in the general area of Dún Formna) Erected during the reign of Napoleon this was one of a series of watch towers built around the Irish coast to warn the English of an impending sea attack by the French.

OLD NATIONAL SCHOOL (adjacent to the watch tower) built in 1885, it was in use until 1940.

TEAMPALL CHAOMHÁIN (The island's present day graveyard) Caomhán the patron saint of the island is buried in Leaba Chaomháin in this graveyard. His feastday is celebrated on Inis Oírr on the 14th June. The church ruins date back to the 10-14th century.

LOCH MÓR (Eastern side of the island) This lagoon type lake has an area of 6.6 ha. and at approximately 23m deep is considered one of the deepest in Ireland.

THE PLASSY WRECK  (eastern seashore) On the 8th March 1960 the Plassy cargo ship hit the Finnish Rock in South Sound (the sound between Inis Oírr and Clare) on its journey from Foynes to Galway. No lives were lost as the islanders, without any outside help saved all on board, but were not however allowed to save the cargo!.

THE LIGHTHOUSE (on the southeast tip of the island) The lighthouse is in operation since 1857. It is 37m in height. The light at night has a distance of 20 nautical miles.

CILL na SEACHT nINÍON (halfway between the watch tower and the lake) This is known locally as AN CHILL. While it is recorded as the oldest monastic site on the island and is associated with Naomh Moninne, the first saint to inhabit the island, it is not generally visited by locals as a place of pilgrimage at present. The "sleeping quarters" in the perimeter wall are reminiscent of the catacombs in Rome. While 'Cill na Seacht nIníon' is translated as 'Church of the Seven Daughters' Seacht in Irish also means several or many.

TOBAR ÉANNA (close to the Southwestern seashore)  This spring well, probably in use since prehistoric times, has been dedicated to Éanna a saint who came to inhabit these islands around 485AD. It remains a place of pilgrimage to this day and the special blessing associated with a sighting of the elusive resident eel makes it extra special.    

CILL GHOBNAIT (on the western side)  A piece of sculpture, of Inis Oírr limestone, by the sculptor Eileen Mac Donagh stands outside the site. The site itself contains the small church 'Teampall Ghobnait' two raised gravestones, a beehive hut and a large elder tree of sacred importance. This is a place of pilgrimage as it is where Saint Gobnait resided when she came to Inis Oírr from the Burren.