County Kerry Journals

A few hours on The Great Blasket Island

A June 2004 trip to County Kerry by atherts

Boat and Raft from Blasket Pier Photo, County Kerry, Ireland More Photos
Quote: A boat trip to The Great Blasket off the Dingle Peninsula, Co. Kerry Ireland, and several hours wandering among the donkeys, rabbits, sheep, and wind.

A few hours on The Great Blasket Island

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Overview

Ticket Booth Photo, County Kerry, Ireland
Quote:
The Great Blasket Island is about four miles by one and a half miles wide. The small farming and fishing community had as many as 150 members in the early 20th century, but had dwindled to a small number when the island was vacated in 1953. The island has a very strong literary tradition. The most famous books are "Peig", "The Islandman" and "Twenty Years a Growing". I believe over 40 books have been written by and about the island and its inhabitants.From the end of the 13th Century the Ferriter family leased the Islands from the Earls of Desmond. They retained a castle at Rinn an Chaisleáin in the lower village. There are no physical remains of that castle on the island.The last of th...Read More

Cafe / Gift Shop

Restaurant | "A small House/Cafe/Gift Shop"

Quote:
Tea, brown bread, and perhaps a sandwich if you're lucky. Out here you're grateful for what you can get, and a place to get out of the elements. There is about enough room for 5 people if they don't move around much. The shop is located almost directly up the hill when you come up from the quay. No signs or significant identification that we noticed. This may change with the time of year and who is in charge. The gift shop has a small selection of Irish craft items, sweaters and other knit goods. Prices seemed reasonable for the location. We didn't spend much more time than sticking our heads in to see what was going on. It is good to know there is somewhere to go if the weather turns foul which it of...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 16, 2004

Cafe / Gift Shop
Great Blasket Island
Kerry, Ireland

Blasket View Photo, County Kerry, Ireland
Quote:
Wild steep slopes along sheer cliffs. Even the best days could have high winds from 30-60 mph. The island can be walked in a day at a very brisk pace. The paths and hills are covered with rabbit burrows, so watch your step. This is about the furthest west you can go in Ireland. The next stop is New York.There are incredible views out to sea and back to the mainland. The water is clear and tropical looking on a clear day (about the only kind you want to be out here on). There is a variety of wildlife and birds, keep your eyes open for puffins along the shore and on an offshore island. Sheep are everywhere, but are not at all tame or friendly. We never saw a rabbit, but their droppings and holes wer...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 15, 2004

The Great Blasket Island

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Story/Tip

Boat and Raft from Blasket Pier Photo, County Kerry, Ireland
Quote:
The Blaskets are islands off the coast of Ireland that were home to some of the most hearty and creative people in Ireland, and that's saying a lot. The Great Blasket was abandoned in 1953 as the youth left the island, mostly for America, and the remaining population could not sustain itself because of the conditions required to survive on the island.First, read any and all books you can lay your hands on by the writers from the island. I'd recommend "Island Man", "Peig" and "20 Years A Growing" to start.Second, visit The Blasket Centre in DúnChaoin (Dunquin) before going. You'll appreciate it more, and be able to identify the houses and landmarks. If you can't purchase the books before, t...Read More