Heritage Hot Spots What is it?Inis Mór is the largest of the three Aran Islands, and the one closest to the Co Galway mainland. The trio of islands – Inis Mór (Inishmore, the Big Island), Inis Meáin (Inishmaan, Middle Island) and Inis Oírr (Inisheer, Western Island) – stretch in a line from Connemara, in the north, to the Burren, just to the south, in Co Clare.
Renowned for its currachs and jumpers, the island also has bare limestone cliffs, stony pastures, drystone walls and narrow roads that have fired the imaginations of writers such as JM Synge, Liam O’Flaherty (a native) and, more recently, Tim Robinson. The spectacularly situated prehistoric ring fort of Dún Aonghasa (Dun Aengus, above right) is the island’s most visited archaeological site.
Fans of the cult sitcom Father Ted descend on the island this weekend for the annual TedFest ( tedfest.org). Although the main events, including the lovely-girls contest and Ted’s Got Talent, are booked out well in advance, all visitors who arrive during the festival are welcome to watch the annual beach football match and, at noon tomorrow, join the spoof history walking tour, which includes a visit to the island’s Amish community.
How do I get there?
Aran Island Ferries ( aranislandferries.com, 091-568903) operates throughout the year. The crossing takes 40 minutes. You can take a shuttle bus from Galway city or embark at the Ros a Mhíl (Rosaveel) port, about 30km west of Galway. Alternatively, Aer Arann Islands ( aerarannislands.ie) has regular flights to the island.