Discover Inishmore

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Inishmore : activities and sites to visit

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What to expect?

Inishmore (or Inis Mór in Irish) is the largest island in the Aran Islands archipelago, located in the Bay of Galway. Measuring 14km long and 3km wide, Inishmore is one of the most touristy islands in Ireland… Wild landscapes and archaeological remains will be there, without forgetting the possibility to buy the traditional Irish pullover made on the spot!

History of Inishmore

Prehistoric Forts and Monasteries

Inishmore has a history that dates back to the Iron Age, when the inhabitants of the time built 3 imposing forts all over the island . In the 5th century, Saint Eanna founded a monastery on Inishmore, built in 490: Killeany Abbey. This monastery was an important religious centre at the time, and trained the future monks and evangelists who were later to travel throughout Europe.

As early as 546, the kings of Munster and Connaught, decide to consider the Aran Islands as independent of their territories, freeing the islands from any duty of allegiance to one of the kings reigning over provinces of the Kingdom of Ireland . This geo-political decision will thus allow Inishmore and other 2 other islands to acquire a greater autonomy and independence…

It is in 1081 that Inishmore is ravaged by the Danes… Houses are looted, burned, and the inhabitants are murdered or raped. It will take many years for the island to recover from this attack… However, Inishmore will again be looted and burned by Sir John D’Arcy, Lord Justice of Ireland, who in 1334 sails into the Bay of Galway with a fleet of 56 ships.

Today, Inishmore has a population of over 800, living mainly from local tourism .