Omey Island, Claddaghduff

4.7
#5 of 12 in Nature in County Galway
Omey Island is a tidal island situated near Claddaghduff on the western edge of Connemara in County Galway, Ireland. From the mainland the island is inconspicuous and almost hidden. It is possible to drive or walk across a large sandy strand to the island by following the arrowed signs. At high tide, the water is deep enough to cover a car.HistoryMonastic heritageIn the early-to-mid-1990s a team of archaeologists from University College Dublin began work to study the monastic heritage of the island, long known for being the site of a monastery and settlement reportedly founded by the prodigious St Feichin. In fact, its name derives from the Irish Iomaidh Feichín meaning Feichín's bed or seat.The excavation gave new insights into the life of early Christianity in Ireland and included one of the few known burials of a woman within a monastic burial ground. The site is believed to date from the early 6th century.The island of Omey remains a place of devotion to Saint Feichín to this day, with a Holy Well situated by the western edge and several other key landmarks of piety. This includes a later medieval parish church - with the majority of its vast stones still very much in place (having been buried in centuries of sand until the parish priest took matters into his own hands and, with the help of locals, dug up the area surrounding it).St Feichín is reported to have established many such communities across the west of Ireland and is considered one of the most important of the early founders of the rich tradition of Irish Christianity.
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  • The island of Omey Island is located in the westernmost part of Connemara. It is not easy to get there as it is not indicated by road signs (at least from Westport). If you have a browser pointing straight Claddaghduff. The landscape traversed is typical and wonderful of Connemara. Arriving at the beach you will see a parking lot on the right, a sign where I scored the tide times and at the bottom of the island. If the tide is low you can cross by car to the bottom of the sea up to the island. Be guided by signs. Will be a unique experience. Attention: check the placard with the times because the tide rises rapidly (it is impressive the ascent rate of water) and not uniformly across the Bay. If you're staying too long in the middle of the Bay you may find yourself surrounded by water! If in doubt ask the locals who will advise the best times. Highly recommended!!!
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  • This is a must visit if you are holidaying in Connemara. We drove across the beach to the island and eventually parked our car and spent hours on the island. Our 3 children are all aged under 6 and it...  more »
  • This was our fourth time to visit Omey. Each time is more special than the last. The vast sands and blue/green waters are simply out of this world. I would advise anyone who travels to Connemara to ta...  more »

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