Tory Island, or Toraigh, is a small island, two and a half miles long and three quarters of a mile wide, 14.5 km (9 miles) off the north-west coast of County Donegal in Ireland. Tory Island’s remoteness has meant it’s traditions and way of life have been preserved a unique way. Their music and dance can be enjoyed at nightly céilís in the community centre. Musicians are always welcome in Tory. The island also has a King or Rí Thoraí.
Much of Toraigh’s history revolves around St. Colm Cille’s monastic period in the 6th century on the island. A distinctive Tau Cross suggesting early seafaring links to the Coptic Christians of Egypt is carved from a single slab of mica slate. It is 1.9m in height and 1m in breadth. Many of the island’s fishermen pray here before going fishing.
There is an art gallery, Gailearaí Dixon, exhibiting the work of island artists. Walking, diving, cycling and bird watching are among the things to do on the island as well as learning about the history and archaeology of this remote and captivating place.
It is well worth spending a night, at least one, on the island to truly appreciate this fascinating community and enjoy the welcome they offer the curious traveller.
Access to Tory Island is by Ferry from Bunbeg and Magheraroarty Pier.