Heir Island, Skibbereen

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Heir Island or Hare Island, sometimes called Inishodriscol is an island that lies southwest of County Cork, Ireland. It has a year-round population of around 25–30. The island is 2.5 km long and 1.5 km wide. It is the fourth largest of Carbery's Hundred Isles, after Sherkin Island, Clear Island and Long Island. It is close to Cunnamore Pier, which is its main access point.HistoryThe island was once inhabited by approximately 400 people. The McCarthy and O'Neill families are known for living on this island for years, the latter in fact owned the original island post office. To make a living on the Island the inhabitants either fished or farmed the land but were often unable to make an adequate living, as a result many of the young people emigrated to England, USA and Australia. There are still many descendants of the original islanders living and working on the island. As a result of the emigration, many of the houses were sold in the 1960s and those who bought them often restored the original houses as holiday homes which visitors can see dotted around the island.Heir Island todayThere is a small hamlet on the island; the old main residential area known as Paris which is noted for the bridge, which is only wide enough for one car to pass. This hamlet was once the centre of the island's fishing activities due to the fact that the landing, pickling and barrelling of the day's catch was done there.Many of the ruins on the island reflect the years when the island was home to a great deal more than today. The schoolhouse and the ruins of the schoolmaster's house are on the main road up the island. The island also has 2 piers and today the shop's location is in Burke's (home of the Roaringwater Sailing School).
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  • Although not as easy to reach as Sherkin & Cape Clear and lacking public transport, pub, hotel or hostel, Heir more than makes up for this in that there are no hills and less traffic, so pretty much t...  more »
  • A short ferry ride and you're on Heir Island. Feels timeless and very peaceful. Visited twice in June and had the beach to ourselves. Makes Sherkin and Clear islands seem a bit busy! Not a lot of shel...  more »
  • The road to Cunnamore, from where the ferry leaves, is not without its challenges - narrow and no signage after a certain point but what a view of the islands! The ferry to Heir island takes @ 5 minut...  more »
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