Ireland's Eye, Howth

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Ireland's Eye is a small uninhabited island off the coast of County Dublin, Ireland, situated directly north of Howth Harbour. The island is easily reached by regular tourist boats. The island is currently part of the county of Fingal, for administrative purposes, but was at one time part of the city of Dublin.HistoryIn 1803 the Martello Tower was one of three built in Howth on the instructions of the Duke of York to repel a possible invasion by Napoleon. There is also the ruins of a church dating back to 700AD. The ruins of a Martello tower and an 8th-century church (the Church of the Three Sons of Nessan) are the only signs of previous habitation. The tower's window entrance 5 metres above ground level can now be accessed by a rope that hangs down from the window. The church functioned as parish church for Howth until recent centuries, eventually being replaced by a church in the village due to the limitations of having to take a boat for every service.In Celtic times the island was called Eria's Island. Eria was a woman's name and this became confused with Erin, derived from Éireann, the Irish name for Ireland. The Vikings substituted the word Island with Ey, their Norse equivalent, and so it became known as Erin's Ey and ultimately Ireland's Eye. The island was also known formerly as Inis Faithlenn.In September 1852 a woman named Sarah Maria Louisa Kirwan was killed on the island; her husband, William Burke Kirwan, was convicted of her murder. Matthias McDonnell Bodkin claimed in Famous Irish Trials that no murder had taken place, instead that Sarah Kirwan had drowned accidentally as a result of a fit.
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Ireland's Eye Reviews
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  • August 10, 2017
    My husband and I are dubliners, have been promising ourselves to take the boat trip to irelands eye for about 20 years. We took the blue ferry run by irelandseyeferries.com last Friday. Very short tri...  more »
  • August 8, 2017
    We happened upon the boat ferry to see Ireland's Eye, a small island off of Howth harbor. It was very reasonable and the crew was very competent. Much to our delight, we were able to get off at the is...  more »
  • August 8, 2017
    Howth is beautiful. The sea, the sound of the seagulls and the view is so beautiful. I've fallen in love with Ireland
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  • June 23, 2017
    The men that run this boat are nothing but professional and courteous. I had to take a survey on the island and they gave me a phone number to call when i wanted to come back. Ken gave me loads of information and offered a spin around the far side of the island when i was finished. I will be returning.
  • August 25, 2016
    The boat was supposed to stop at the bird colony. It didn't which Was disappointing. Also the ferry does not land on the island if the tide is too low. Island is great needs a proper guide not sure the skipper we had was verbal at all. Disappointing.
  • December 23, 2016
    Really good experience via ferry trip. Helpful staff.
  • March 24, 2017
    Great trip around the island....very good staff...
  • June 4, 2016
    So it's 10€ to boat around the island and 15€ to land on it. But that's about it - this is literally just a boat ride around the island. That's great, and you do get some nice pictures, but there's no tour guide giving you a history of the Eye or anything - you basically spend 45 minutes on a small boat with some picture opportunities. For that price, I was honestly expecting a bit more.

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