The Isle of the White Cow

Inisboffin Island Travel Blog

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On board the Carmel Olivia

Inishboffin, or Inis Bo Finne in Gaelic (means Island of the White Cow), sits in the north atlantic about 2 miles offshore from the pier at Magheroarty. About one mile wide and one and a half long, once a busy fishing community it now numbers a few dozen families all of whom spend the winter months on the mainland.  'T' shaped, the island points its craggy cliffs and stone-strewn beaches toward the prevailing north west assaults, but has a wonderful white sand strand on is eastern side. There is now a hostel cum guesthouse on the island which is only a few years old and access to the island by boat is via  Michael O'Briain on 00353 87 627 9789. We brought a group of local people and visitors to the island last year and made dinner, told stories, went swimming and walked the length and breadth of the place.

Local girls on a 'day-away'
Well worth a visit the 'village' street and other scattered houses, and the old and now abandoned school house give an insight into a way of life that is fast disappearing from the atlantic fringes of Europe and Ireland. Michael or 'Micheál' (pron. Mee Haul) will come out in most weather to transport you and tell a few tales as well. Most visitors to the mainland pier head for the larger island - Tory - but they are missing this little green gem.

With the pictures attached to this  blog you'll notice some images taken inside the old (new) island chapel and at the very end are some old photos lent to me by one of the islanders of its original consecration back in 1966. Note the Stations of the Cross pictures and their accompanying crucifixes - still the originals! Lovely sense of time.

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On board the Carmel Olivia
On board the Carmel Olivia
Local girls on a day-away
Local girls on a 'day-away'
The road to the north side of Inis…
The road to the north side of Ini…
Aidan pausing a while by the window
Aidan pausing a while by the window
Conversation in the hostel
Conversation in the hostel
The main street from shore
The 'main street' from shore
View back over Gortahork, Falcarra…
View back over Gortahork, Falcarr…
The hostel on our celebration day
The hostel on our celebration day
The accordion comes out and the fe…
The accordion comes out and the f…
And up gets the first couples
And up gets the first couples
And more follow....
And more follow....
Gillian, Maggie, Eilis and Siobhan…
Gillian, Maggie, Eilis and Siobha…
Dancing at the community centre
Dancing at the community centre
Anniversary mass celebrating 40 ye…
Anniversary mass celebrating 40 y…
Concelebrated Mass
Concelebrated Mass
The same church in 1966 being cons…
The same church in 1966 being con…
The church and slipway on Inis Bó…
The church and slipway on Inis B…
Another view of the congregation w…
Another view of the congregation …
Inis Bó Finne from the beach at M…
Inis Bó Finne from the beach at …
Inis Bó Finne from the beach at M…
Inis Bó Finne from the beach at …
Inis Bó Finne from the beach at M…
Inis Bó Finne from the beach at …
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Inisboffin Island
photo by: paulkernan
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