Tag Archives: Inisheer

will you come for an excursion to the Aran Isles this summer?

“O, Mr Conroy, will you come for an excursion to the Aran Isles this summer? We’re going to stay there a whole month. It will be splendid out in the Atlantic. You ought to come. Mr Clancy is coming, and Mr Kilkelly and Kathleen Kearney. It would be splendid for Gretta too if she’d come. She’s from Connacht, isn’t she?”

“Her people are,” said Gabriel shortly.

“But you will come, won’t you?” said Miss Ivors, laying her warm hand eagerly on his arm.

“The fact is,” said Gabriel, “I have just arranged to go——”

“Go where?” asked Miss Ivors.

“Well, you know, every year I go for a cycling tour with some fellows and so——”

“But where?” asked Miss Ivors.

“Well, we usually go to France or Belgium or perhaps Germany,” said Gabriel awkwardly.

“And why do you go to France and Belgium,” said Miss Ivors, “instead of visiting your own land?”

“Well,” said Gabriel, “it’s partly to keep in touch with the languages and partly for a change.”

“And haven’t you your own language to keep in touch with—Irish?” asked Miss Ivors.

“Well,” said Gabriel, “if it comes to that, you know, Irish is not my language.”

Their neighbours had turned to listen to the cross-examination. Gabriel glanced right and left nervously and tried to keep his good humour under the ordeal which was making a blush invade his forehead.

“And haven’t you your own land to visit,” continued Miss Ivors, “that you know nothing of, your own people, and your own country?”

“O, to tell you the truth,” retorted Gabriel suddenly, “I’m sick of my own country, sick of it!”

“Why?” asked Miss Ivors.

Gabriel did not answer for his retort had heated him.

“Why?” repeated Miss Ivors.

They had to go visiting together and, as he had not answered her, Miss Ivors said warmly:

“Of course, you’ve no answer.”

Gabriel tried to cover his agitation by taking part in the dance with great energy. He avoided her eyes for he had seen a sour expression on her face. But when they met in the long chain he was surprised to feel his hand firmly pressed. She looked at him from under her brows for a moment quizzically until he smiled. Then, just as the chain was about to start again, she stood on tiptoe and whispered into his ear:

“West Briton!”

Words: The Dead from Dubliners by James Joyce

Inis Oírr’s Fountain

A woman I know told me a man from Galway she knows told her that the cargo of the Plassey, which was shipwrecked on Inis Oírr in the 1960’s, included ceramic toilet bowls. Many of these were spirited away when the Plassey was grounded on Trá Caorach. A woman I know told me a man from Galway she knows told her that some of the ceramic toilet bowls were used in the dwellings on the island, while others were sold in Galway. We imagine Duchampian porcelain installation pieces might still be found unclaimed in the caves and crevices of the limestone.

Bliain in Inis Oírr, Episode 4

Inis Oírr lies 6 miles off the coast of Connemara. With over 250 inhabitants it is the smallest of the three Aran Islands. While embracing progress and change, this rocky outpost has managed to retain much of its traditional island way of life. Inhabited by communities whose everyday language is Irish, the Aran Islands are immediately striking for being a desert of rock where there is scarcely any shelter, no mountains or woodland to be found. What pasture there is has been largely man made. James Joyce once wrote that these islands could be the place to go to find the real Ireland — something that has particular resonance today. Filmed from January to December 2010, “Bliain In Inis Oírr” is a four part series that follows a diverse mix of individuals living on the island. From new-comers to those who have lived there for generations, audiences will be given an insight to day-to-day island life and the reasons why each of these people has chosen to make this magical, yet harsh, place their home. Each of the four episodes features one particular season, highlighting seasonal activities and festivals as well as the passage of time through the changing weather and vegetation of the island.

Bliain in Inis Oírr, Episode 3

Inis Oírr lies 6 miles off the coast of Connemara. With over 250 inhabitants it is the smallest of the three Aran Islands. While embracing progress and change, this rocky outpost has managed to retain much of its traditional island way of life. Inhabited by communities whose everyday language is Irish, the Aran Islands are immediately striking for being a desert of rock where there is scarcely any shelter, no mountains or woodland to be found. What pasture there is has been largely man made. James Joyce once wrote that these islands could be the place to go to find the real Ireland — something that has particular resonance today. Filmed from January to December 2010, “Bliain In Inis Oírr” is a four part series that follows a diverse mix of individuals living on the island. From new-comers to those who have lived there for generations, audiences will be given an insight to day-to-day island life and the reasons why each of these people has chosen to make this magical, yet harsh, place their home. Each of the four episodes features one particular season, highlighting seasonal activities and festivals as well as the passage of time through the changing weather and vegetation of the island.