A Donegal Wild Atlantic Way Discovery Point
Arranmore Island, or Árainn Mhór, off the coast of Donegal is the largest of Donegal’s Islands and is a Wild Atlantic Way Discovery Point. Reached by ferry from Burtonport, the island offers long sandy beaches, lakes and stunning views from its steep cliffs. Rock climbing, fishing, walking, bird-watching and diving are among the activities possible here.
Most of the islanders speak Irish (or Gaelic) as well as English.
An Island Looking for Islanders
With a population at an all-time low of 469 people the community has recently (Summer 2019) put a call out in an open letter to the US and Australia recruiting new residents. This novel response to its de-population problem is supported by the fact that the island has recently been established as Ireland’s first offshore digital hub with high-speed internet access. It is a tempting prospect to join the already established community of tech-savvy software developers, designers, and creative types. If this appeals to you then get in touch with the Island on their Facebook page here.
Festivals on Arranmore
Each August, the Féile Árainn Mhór festival (formerly the Rose of Arranmore festival) offers a great line-up of concerts, music and dancing.
In more recent years a new festival has begun, in the month of July, called the Swell Festival which offers a selection of Poetry, Spoken Word, Live Art, DJs, Games and other performances and activities for the younger festival goer.
Arranmore Island Lighthouse
There has been a lighthouse on this spot at Rinrawros Point on the north west corner of the island since 1798. The present lighthouse was built in 1859 and was manned until 1976 when it was automated. The lighthouse tower is 23 meters high and the light has a range of 27 nautical miles. It originally monitored the Atlantic shipping lane and served as a monitoring post during World War II.
By the lighthouse, a little inlet is named after yachtsman Wayne Dickinson, who in 1982-1983 crossed the Atlantic in 142 days aboard the tiny yacht God’s Tear.