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Life on an island off the coast of Co Galway; 50+ years ago

Saginaw, Michigan
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for Western Ireland
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Life on an island off the coast of Co Galway; 50+ years ago

Until today, I had never heard of Inishark (Inis Airc), a neighbouring island of Inishbofin (Inis Bo Finne), situated off the west coast of Connemara, Co. Galway.

What drew my attention to it was this slideshow and an article from The Irish Times, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the final exodus from Inishark in October, 1960:

irishtimes.com/indepth/slideshows/inishshark/

irishtimes.com/newspaper/…1224281952196.html

Then, I stumbled on a 5-part series of videos from TG4, the Irish-langauge television service, on the way of life and the people of both Inishark and Inishbofin, throughout most of the twentieth century, probably.

Each video is approximately 10 minutes long. Well worth the time, in my opinion, to get some understanding of the good times and the hardships of such a life:

http://wn.com/Inishark

Finally, from 27th October 1960, an article from The Daily Mail called 'Inishark: Death of an Island' describing the final journey of the last inhabitants as they leave the island for the mainland:

http://www.inishbofin.com/death_of_shark.html

Grayslake, Illinois
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1. Re: Life on an island off the coast of Co Galway; 50+ years ago

Thanks for the links, Uasal! I've never heard of Inishark.

Manchester, United...
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2. Re: Life on an island off the coast of Co Galway; 50+ years ago

Island life, past and present, is truly fascinating isn't it? When we lived in Connemara there were so few people in each of the pubs during the winters (on the mainland as well as the offshore islands but mainly the islands) that the local radio station http://www.connemarafm.com/ would 'host' a weekly pub quiz with each 'table' consisting of a different pub on the mainland or a different syndicate on each island - although we were usually tuning in at home it was always exciting listening to the questions, then the answers, and finally hearing the scores coming in from places like Inishturk, Inishbofin etc :-)

Ireland
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3. Re: Life on an island off the coast of Co Galway; 50+ years ago

Island life was so hard for so long. I brought a friend from an island that was evacuated to the Blasket centre and he cried over the death of the island, like it was his own place. Mainlanders like me find it hard to really see how much life on the island created an unbreakable bond between the islanders.

upstate NY
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4. Re: Life on an island off the coast of Co Galway; 50+ years ago

Very interesting, thanks for posting.

In one of the articles a boy mentions being cut off due to weather and running out of parafin and tea...the only light being from the peat fire.

This was in December, it's only light for maybe 9hrs, probably ugly grey if the seas were rough.

Tough life.

5. Re: Life on an island off the coast of Co Galway; 50+ years ago

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