The most beautiful of islands

    The History of Inishturk

    Inishturk has been in inhabited on and off since approx 4000 BCE. and in its present phase since at least 1700. A number of Beehive hut sites around the lake area dated to 1500 BC with evidence of Fullacht Fia as the means of cooking.

    Some of the old settlers seem to have congregated at the southwest corner round the beautiful little harbour of Portdoon, where there is ample archeological evidence of their presence. The ancestry of the current population includes Wicklow, Wexford and Galway. Some of the dominant names include O'Toole, Heanue and Concannon, names from Leinster, Ulster as well as the nearby Connemara Gaeltacht.

    Traditionally Islanders have emigrated since the famine, to America and England. As a result the island is now predominantly English speaking although at the beginning of the 20th century Irish was the first language. The grá for the language still exists and boasts a number of fluent speakers.

    Geologically Inishturk dates from the Ordovician period. Two separate folds of schist and shale rise out of the Atlantic to form Inishturk, which is a continuation of the same folds as Croagh Patrick on the Mayo mainland.


    Inishturk is a small beautiful island, 5km x 2.5km, located 9 miles (14.5km) off the west coast of Mayo. It rises boldly from the wild North Atlantic in wall-like cliffs to the northwest and steep hills to the north on which stands the ruins of the old signal tower 688 ft above sea level.

    Getting Here

    • The main embarkation point to Inishturk is Roonagh Pier.
      O'Malleys Ferries operate a daily service to the Island.
      Please see ferry schedule for details.
    • Ferry Schedule
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