Want to own your own Irish island? There are several for sale

Buyers can opt for windswept isolation, a piece of history, or a an island just for fun

John Lennon famously owned one, and Michael Jackson wanted to. Buying an Irish island of your own – or at least a house on one – is a dream shared by many people (and they’re not all from overseas).

Some want a windswept rock where they can live in solitude, others an island with a few neighbours. It can be expensive to build, or rebuild, on an island – bringing materials over from the mainland, digging wells, setting up electricity generators. They don’t sell quickly – it usually takes a year or more, say agents. But the fact that a few agents’ websites include  “islands” as a category in their search buttons suggests there’s consistent demand.

Those  for sale include a small island off Connemara for €30,000, a hotel on Sherkin Island for €1.5 million, and an uninhabited island in the Shannon estuary for €900,000. Here’s a selection of islands and island properties on the market now.

Address: Carbery and Cold islands, Dunmanus Bay, west Cork. Price: €550,000 (to include furniture, fixtures and fittings). Agent: Dominic Daly


A four-bedroom stone house was built fairly recently on Carbery, a 34-acre island a half-hour boat ride from Ahakista, west Cork (where Graham Norton has a holiday home). Cold Island is a rocky outcrop with a seal colony on it. Nobody else lives on the islands. Built by a photographer, the house was later sold to a “Middle Eastern gentleman who only visited occasionally”, but fitted it out comfortably, says agent Dominic Daly. It has a generator, private well and septic tank.

Address: Sherkin Island hotel, marina and Dun na Long castle, Baltimore Harbour, west Cork. Price: €1.5 million. Agent: Charles McCarthy

A 21-bedroom commercially-run hotel – known as The Islander’s Rest – and a nearby castle on Sherkin Island are 10 minutes by ferry from Baltimore. The properties have just been put on the market: on 2.2 acres, the hotel, renovated in 2001, has a bar, lounge, function room and a 30-berth marina. The 16th century castle that once belonged to the O’Driscoll clan was used as a residence and fish factory up to the mid-19th century. Sherkin, 5km long by 3km wide, has a population of just over 100 people and is popular with artists.

Address: Mannion's Island, Dunmanus Bay, west Cork. Price: €150,000. Agent: Dominic Daly

It takes only five or six minutes in a small boat to get to Mannion’s Island, further up Dunmanus Bay and accessible from Durrus: it’s just 300m from the mainland at its nearest point. There is no house on the four-acre island but “you could build a nice house for €250,000”, says Daly, subject, of course, to getting planning permission.

Address: Shore Island, Shannon Estuary, Co Clare. Price: €900,000. Agent: Dominic Daly

A 30-acre island whose owner grazes cattle there year round is half a mile from Co Clare, about 10 minutes away in a small boat, says Dominic Daly. There are a number of ruins on the island, which might help in getting planning permission to build on it.

Address: Dinish Island, Lettermullan, Co Galway. Price: €150,000. Agent: Helen Cassidy

A stone cottage on an uninhabited Gaeltacht island – connected to the island of Lettermullen off the Connemara coast – has been restored, and has water and electricity. It has a sittingroom with a stove, kitchen, toilet and shower, a bedroom area downstairs and a loft sleeping area. It is accessed by boat across a narrow channel about 50m across.

Address: Cruit Island House, Cruit Island, Kincasslagh, Co Donegal. Price: €580,000. Agent: Savills

A 365sq m (3,933sq ft) four-bedroom house on nine acres on a cliff with Atlantic views on Cruit Island, an island in the Rosses region of Co Donegal linked to the mainland by a bridge. Accommodation in the house includes a kitchen/breakfastroom, open-plan livingroom/diningroom with lots of windows with sea views, and on the ground floor four bedrooms, three en suite. Cruit, where Daniel O’Donnell used to have a holiday home, has a population of 85, measures three miles by one mile, has 12 beaches and a golf club.

Address: Mason Island, Carna, Co Galway. Price: €95,000. Agent: Matt O'Sullivan

A ruin on five acres on this island is a short boat trip from Carna, Co Galway – it would take about 20 minutes in a small currach, says the agent. There are about four or five other houses – holiday homes – on the island, and this site could be developed as another subject to planning permission. Mason Island has a beautiful beach, a cut-stone pier and is very near MacDara’s island, where the annual Feile MacDara is held in July.

Address: Greeve Island, Rosmuc, Connemara, Co Galway. Price: €30,000. Agent: Matt O'Sullivan

There is no house on this 1.4-acre island about a mile off the Connemara coast – it is uninhabited and pretty much uninhabitable, according to the agent. So why would you buy it? “Just for fun,” says the agent. There is the option of buying a house in Rosmuc along with the island – the four-bed cottage needing modernisation on nine acres has a private stone pier, and along with Greeve Island is for sale for €185,000.

Address: Middle Quarter, Inishbofin, Connemara, Co Galway. Price: €280,000. Agent: Matt O'Sullivan

A three-bedroom house a short walk to the ferry and hotel on Inishbofin has three bedrooms, one en suite, a sittingroom, kitchen and bathroom. It is in good condition, according to the agent.

Address: Apt 702, Inchydoney Island, Clonakilty, Co Cork. Price: €225,000. Agent: Martin Kelleher Property

A 65sq m (701sq ft) ground-floor apartment with two bedrooms and two bathrooms next to Inchydoney Lodge and Spa Hotel has been refurbished recently and is being sold fully furnished. It comes with the option of joining the spa’s rental scheme. There are sliding patio doors from the livingroom, with views of the sea. Inchydoney is a small island connected to the mainland near Clonakilty.