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Kilronan

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Overview





Kilronan is situated off Ireland’s west coast, on Inishmore which is part of the Aran Isles that front Galway Bay. The harbour is located within Killeany Bay that indents the island near its southeast end and faces Galway Bay. It offers an anchorage, visitor moorings and the possibility of a berth in the harbour of the principal town of the island group.

Kilronan is situated off Ireland’s west coast, on Inishmore which is part of the Aran Isles that front Galway Bay. The harbour is located within Killeany Bay that indents the island near its southeast end and faces Galway Bay. It offers an anchorage, visitor moorings and the possibility of a berth in the harbour of the principal town of the island group.

Kilronan is a good anchorage and the only reliable haven in the Aran group. In moderate weather, the bay offers all-around shelter, but it is exposed to the entire fetch of Galway Bay. It, therefore, becomes untenable in strong winds between north and east and in a northwest gale a heavy swell rolls right into it. Access is straightforward at any stage of the tide and it has lights and markers that assist a night entry.



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Keyfacts for Kilronan



Last modified
May 18th 2018

Summary

A good location with straightforward access.

Facilities
Water available via tapWaste disposal bins availableGas availableTop up fuel available in the area via jerry cansShop with basic provisions availableMini-supermarket or supermarket availableSlipway availableShore based toilet facilitiesHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationCashpoint or bank available in the areaPost Office in the areaRegional or international airport within 25 kilometresBicycle hire available in the areaTourist Information office available


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationBerth alongside a deep water pier or raft up to other vesselsVisitors moorings available, or possibly by club arrangementJetty or a structure to assist landingNavigation lights to support a night approachScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinitySet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinityHistoric, geographic or culturally significant location; or in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
None listed



Position and approaches
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Haven position

53° 6.996' N, 009° 39.979' W

This is the head of Kilronan breakwater where a light is shown Fl.G.1.5s 5M.

What is the initial fix?

The following Killeany Bay Initial Fix will set up a final approach:
53° 7.602' N, 009° 37.518' W
The alignment (226°) of the N side of a small sand patch close SE of Killeany Point (53006'.57N 9039'.30W) and Temple Benan (53'06'-17N 9039'-97W), a remarkable dome
shaped ruin on high land, leads through the entrance.


This is set on the alignment of 226° T a ½ mile out from the pinch point of the foul ground extending from Straw Island and Bar of Aran. Utilising the leading mark of the 226° T remarkable apex shaped ruin of Teampal Bheanáin, seen on high land. This kept over the north side of a small sand patch, seen a little within Killeany Point on south shore of the bay, marks the alignment. The Killeany starboard light buoy, Fl.g.3s, located 600 metres northeastward of Straw Island Light, will be clearly seen from here.


What are the key points of the approach?

Offshore details are available in western Ireland’s Coastal Overview for Loop Head to Slyne Head Route location.


Not what you need?
Click the 'Next' and 'Previous' buttons to progress through neighbouring havens in a coastal 'clockwise' or 'anti-clockwise' sequence. Below are the ten nearest havens to Kilronan for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Inishmaan - 2 miles ESE
  2. Inisheer - 3.7 miles ESE
  3. Kiggaul Bay - 4.8 miles NNW
  4. Dinish & Furness Islands - 5.8 miles NNW
  5. Sruthan Quay - 6.1 miles NNE
  6. Greatman's Bay - 6.1 miles N
  7. Rossaveal - 6.1 miles NNE
  8. Doolin Pier (Ballaghaline Quay) - 6.9 miles ESE
  9. Kilkieran Bay - 7.8 miles N
  10. Fanore Bay - 8.2 miles E
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Inishmaan - 2 miles ESE
  2. Inisheer - 3.7 miles ESE
  3. Kiggaul Bay - 4.8 miles NNW
  4. Dinish & Furness Islands - 5.8 miles NNW
  5. Sruthan Quay - 6.1 miles NNE
  6. Greatman's Bay - 6.1 miles N
  7. Rossaveal - 6.1 miles NNE
  8. Doolin Pier (Ballaghaline Quay) - 6.9 miles ESE
  9. Kilkieran Bay - 7.8 miles N
  10. Fanore Bay - 8.2 miles E
To find locations with the specific attributes you need try:

Resources search



How to get in?
Kilronan Harbour
Image: Aran Camping & Glamping


Translating to ‘Large Island’ in English Inishmore is the largest of the Aran Island Group. It is 7.5 miles long and 2 miles wide at its widest point. To seaward, it presents a perpendicular barrier of a cliff, while on the opposite side the land descends from its summit to the shore in a succession of abrupt ledges and terraces. On this side, the Galway Bay side, it is indented by Killeany Bay, near its southeast end that provides the only truly reliable anchoring location within the island group.

The mile-wide entrance to Killeany Bay’s has the well-covered narrow ridge, called the Bar of Aran, extending across it. It extends in a southeast direction from Carrickfadda Point with 3 to 4 metres of cover. It then descends into a 300 metres wide channel between it and the foul ground that extends from Straw Island. This end of the Bar of Aran and the commencement of the entrance channel is marked by the starboard Killeany buoy.

Bar of Aran – starboard buoy Fl G 3s position: 53°07.259'N, 009° 38.226'


Straw Island with its lighthouse
Image: Sonse


Close east of the bay is the 11 metres high Straw Island. This located about ½ a mile north of the northeast extremity of Inishmore Island and connected to it by the drying Cush Spit. The west side of the island is foul out to 400 metres. A light is shown on the north side of the island from a white tower and substructure with a red railing.

Straw Island - Lighthouse Fl(2) 5s, 11m 15M position: 53° 07.065’N, 009° 37.840’W

The entrance channel lies between these two and has 7.6 metres of water, deepening to 9.3 and 10.3 metres a short distance within, then decreasing gradually to the shore. An extensive flat, with from 3.1 to 3.7 metres of water over it gradually filling to the western half of the bay.

Teampull Bheanáin situated high on a ridge makes a prominent mark
Image: Gareth Thomas


Initial fix location From the inital fix track in on the alignment of 226° T of the north side of a small sand patch close southeast of Killeany Point and the striking ruin of Teampal Bheanáin situated high on a ridge, which dominates approach to the bay. This leads through the entrance that is flanked by a starboard buoy 'Bar of Aran' and the foul ground extending from Straw Island on the east.

If in any doubt pass close to the 'Bar of Aran' starboard buoy as Straw Island requires a berth of 600 metres to clear its foul ground that extends out to 400 metres.
Please note

Those approaching from the Galway Bay, or from the west, need not adhere to this approach. It is usually safe for leisure craft to cross the Bar of Aran at about halfway between Carrickadda Point and the 'Bar of Aran' starboard buoy. Those doing this should not drift towards Carrickadda Point as Bar Rock, that uncovers on low tides and dries to 0.4 metres, lies on the bar 400 metres from Carrickfadda Point. If on the other hand there is a big swell up it is best to take the channel.



Once south of the Killeany buoy starboard marker it is safe to steer west-southwest for the end of Kilronan pier. Keep watch for lobster pots as they are laid close inshore throughout the bay.


Yacht moorings off Kilronan
Image: Aran Camping & Glamping


Haven location Anchor 200 to 400 metres south of the pier in 3 metres. There are also several visitor moorings; of which the ones nearest the shore are in depths of as little as a metre. But do not berth in such a fashion as to obstruct ferries manoeuvring to go in and out of the harbour.

Kilronan is situated on the north side of the bay with an L shaped pier head, on which stands a light 2FR vert. The pier extends southwest from a point and is about 150 metres east of the village. A large new harbour and outer breakwater now protects it from the east. This is also lit at the head, Fl G. 4s, plus a starboard buoy will be seen to the south of the outer pier.

If the opportunity presents itself, as the harbour is usually crowded, a berth may be had alongside the 190-metre long pier. There are depths of 2.7 metres alongside at the pierhead which is usually occupied by fishing vessels or the ferry that has priority. The new pier provides protection from easterly winds and the heavy swell resulting from northwest winds. Care should be taken not to impede the ferry or fishing activities if coming alongside.

The old west pier
Image: Deirdre via CC NC-SA 2.0


Alternatively, the old west pier may provide a temporary high water berth. It has a clean bottom and about 2 metres may be afforded here after half-tide.

The southeast end of the bay off Trawmore Strand
Image: Tourism Ireland


In strong east or southeast winds, it is best to anchor in the southeast end of the bay off Trawmore Strand clear of the submarine cables. In the southwest corner is the little drying boat-harbour of Killeany that may offer a berth for those that can take-to-the hard. The end of the pier dries to 1.5 metres and the so does the channel to the first beacon. The harbour is entered via a channel marked by a pair of concrete alignment of beacons, in line 192° T, and flanked by two pairs of concrete port and starboard marks.

A boat approaching the drying small-boat harbour of Killeany
Image: Il Turista Informato



Why visit here?
The Aran Islands, in Irish Oileain Arann, are a group of three islands situated in a northwesterly to a southeasterly direction at the mouth of Galway Bay. The Irish word Árainn means "long ridge" which is an apt description for the island group. The three islands comprise of Inishmore, in Irish Árainnmhór or Inis-Mór, or Big Island; Inishmaan, in Irish Inis-Meáin or Middle Island; and finally Inisheer, in Irish Inis-Oirr or East Island.


The beach in the harbour
Image: Sonse


Inishmore is by far the largest island being 14kms (8.7 miles) in length and 3.8 kms (2.4 miles) in width with a total area of about 7,635 acres. It has about 1,100 inhabitants and the most populated of the group. The fishing port of Kilronan is Inishmore's main village, and in summer it is a hive of activity. A host of yachts will be moored in the harbour and the little village will be alive with visitors sampling the local pubs and restaurants which often offer classic impromptu Irish singing and dancing.

Dún Aonghasa
Image: Tourism Ireland


The island as a whole is a major tourist destination, with bed and breakfast accommodation scattered across the island. They come to experience the island’s strong Irish culture, loyalty to the Irish language, its unique environment and the wealth of Pre-Christian and Christian ancient sites including Dún Aonghasa. The island’s size makes all this available by foot, but alternative means to explore the island are available such as hiring a bicycle or taking a pony and trap, and for the less energetic, taking a guided tour on the minibus from the pier.


The vertical drop beneath Dún Aonghasa
Image: Tourism Ireland


The island’s wealth of antiquities, including several ancient stone forts and churches, are outstanding. The most impressive is the aforementioned well-preserved stone 1st-century fort Dún Aonghasa. It has huge semi-circular walls right on a cliff edge that falls perpendicular to over 100 metres into the Atlantic Ocean below. The forts structural perfection and the awe-inspiring position has moved many experts to pronounce it one of the finest prehistoric monuments in Europe and it has been designated a World Heritage Site. In short, described as "the most magnificent barbaric monument in Europe", it is an experience not to be missed. Likewise, the Atlantic Ocean views from the surrounding cliff tops are superb.


Dún Dubhchathair, The Black Fort
Image: Tourism Ireland


Another fort Dún Dubhchathair, that translates to ‘The Black Fort’, situated on Inishmore's southern cliffs is thought to be the oldest of the forts. Another Dún Eochla is the smallest of the forts and it has a Neolithic tomb. This fort is found in the middle of the island south of the village of Eochaill, meaning Yew wood. from which it gets its name. The fort is circular and consists of two terraced walls. Exact dates are not known but it is thought to be somewhat later than Dún Aonghasa possibly late Iron Age. Nearby are the remains of an early 19th-century lighthouse which while on the highest point of the island was too badly placed to have been effective use.

Dún Eochla with the remains of a 19th-century Lighthouse nearby
Image: Tourism Ireland


A small heritage park is located nearby that features examples of a traditional thatched cottage and an illegal poteen distillery. Teampal Bheanáin, used for entry alignment marker with Killeany Point, are the ruins of an ancient church measuring under 11 ft x 7 ft. A unique example of Celtic church construction. It marks the location of the original monastic settlement founded by Benen, a disciple of St. Patrick, the national saint of Ireland. It dates from the 11th-century, and has stood unaltered a thousand years. It is reputed to be one of the smallest churches in the world.

Dún Eochla
Image: Seba Sofariu


The island has a wealth of history that is far beyond the capability of this overview. This is very well catered for by a visit the Inishmore Tourist Office or better still the Ionad Arainn Heritage Centre that is a few minutes’ walk from Kilronan. It presents a guided tour that takes its visitors through 2000 years in the life and times of an Aran islander. The Centre also shows the 1934 documentary film 'Man of Aran' by Robert O'Flaherty which should be seen if possible. Other works of literature by some of the islands best-known writers and poets including Liam O'Flaherty and Mairtin O'Direain are also available here. Both were inspired by life on the islands of Aran, and O'Direain is thought of as Ireland’s unacknowledged poet laureate. In addition to this Ionad Arainn has many displays of local crafts such as curragh and traditional Aran sweater making.

Aran Island curragh
Image: Seba Sofariu


Walkers will find the island a paradise. A journey over the craggy cliffs and along the indented coast will present an abundance of wildlife plus hundreds of varieties of wildflowers that have for centuries offered inspiration to the artists and photographers exhibited in Ionad Arainn.


Inishmore guided tour
Image: Seba Sofariu


The island’s ecosystem is unique and an extension of The Burren. Its terrain is composed of limestone pavements with crisscrossing cracks known as grikes, crevices, leaving isolated rocks called clints. The grikes provide moist shelter, thus supporting a wide range of plants including dwarf shrubs. This added to the islands unusually temperate climate, with average air temperatures ranging from 15°C in July to 6°C in January, provides one of the longest growing seasons in Ireland or Britain that supports diverse and rich plant growth. The island has arctic, Mediterranean and alpine plants side-by-side, due to the unusual environment. Late May is the sunniest time, and also likely the best time to view flowers, with the gentians and avens peaking, but orchid species bloom later.


Dusk Kilronan Harbour
Image: Seba Sofariu


From a boating perspective Inishmore, Árainnmhór or Inis Mhór, akin to Skellig Michael, is one of Ireland’s unique and magical experiences. Yet unlike Skellig Michael, it supports a good anchorage with resources ashore to make it viable for a stay of several very enjoyable days.


What facilities are available?
Diesel fuel may usually be obtained from a fishermen's cooperative on the quay. Likewise fresh water is available from a tap at the pier. Groceries may be obtained from the village of Kilronan. This is the principal village of Inishmore, and caters for its permanent 1,100 population of which about 270 are located in the village. This is vastly swelled by holiday makers in the summer. Shops, a pub, restaurants and bicycle hire will all be found here.

There is a regular ferry service to Galway and Rossaveal in Connemara. There is a small airfield on Killeany Point, a mile to the southeast, from which there are services to Galway and Connemara Airport.


Any security concerns?
Never an issue known to have occurred to a vessel anchored off Kilronan.


With thanks to:
Gareth Thomas, Yacht Jalfrezi.


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Please zoom out to see the 'initial fix' for this location.
The above plots are not precise and indicative only.






Aerial view of Kilronan


About Kilronan

The Aran Islands, in Irish Oileain Arann, are a group of three islands situated in a northwesterly to a southeasterly direction at the mouth of Galway Bay. The Irish word Árainn means "long ridge" which is an apt description for the island group. The three islands comprise of Inishmore, in Irish Árainnmhór or Inis-Mór, or Big Island; Inishmaan, in Irish Inis-Meáin or Middle Island; and finally Inisheer, in Irish Inis-Oirr or East Island.


The beach in the harbour
Image: Sonse


Inishmore is by far the largest island being 14kms (8.7 miles) in length and 3.8 kms (2.4 miles) in width with a total area of about 7,635 acres. It has about 1,100 inhabitants and the most populated of the group. The fishing port of Kilronan is Inishmore's main village, and in summer it is a hive of activity. A host of yachts will be moored in the harbour and the little village will be alive with visitors sampling the local pubs and restaurants which often offer classic impromptu Irish singing and dancing.

Dún Aonghasa
Image: Tourism Ireland


The island as a whole is a major tourist destination, with bed and breakfast accommodation scattered across the island. They come to experience the island’s strong Irish culture, loyalty to the Irish language, its unique environment and the wealth of Pre-Christian and Christian ancient sites including Dún Aonghasa. The island’s size makes all this available by foot, but alternative means to explore the island are available such as hiring a bicycle or taking a pony and trap, and for the less energetic, taking a guided tour on the minibus from the pier.


The vertical drop beneath Dún Aonghasa
Image: Tourism Ireland


The island’s wealth of antiquities, including several ancient stone forts and churches, are outstanding. The most impressive is the aforementioned well-preserved stone 1st-century fort Dún Aonghasa. It has huge semi-circular walls right on a cliff edge that falls perpendicular to over 100 metres into the Atlantic Ocean below. The forts structural perfection and the awe-inspiring position has moved many experts to pronounce it one of the finest prehistoric monuments in Europe and it has been designated a World Heritage Site. In short, described as "the most magnificent barbaric monument in Europe", it is an experience not to be missed. Likewise, the Atlantic Ocean views from the surrounding cliff tops are superb.


Dún Dubhchathair, The Black Fort
Image: Tourism Ireland


Another fort Dún Dubhchathair, that translates to ‘The Black Fort’, situated on Inishmore's southern cliffs is thought to be the oldest of the forts. Another Dún Eochla is the smallest of the forts and it has a Neolithic tomb. This fort is found in the middle of the island south of the village of Eochaill, meaning Yew wood. from which it gets its name. The fort is circular and consists of two terraced walls. Exact dates are not known but it is thought to be somewhat later than Dún Aonghasa possibly late Iron Age. Nearby are the remains of an early 19th-century lighthouse which while on the highest point of the island was too badly placed to have been effective use.

Dún Eochla with the remains of a 19th-century Lighthouse nearby
Image: Tourism Ireland


A small heritage park is located nearby that features examples of a traditional thatched cottage and an illegal poteen distillery. Teampal Bheanáin, used for entry alignment marker with Killeany Point, are the ruins of an ancient church measuring under 11 ft x 7 ft. A unique example of Celtic church construction. It marks the location of the original monastic settlement founded by Benen, a disciple of St. Patrick, the national saint of Ireland. It dates from the 11th-century, and has stood unaltered a thousand years. It is reputed to be one of the smallest churches in the world.

Dún Eochla
Image: Seba Sofariu


The island has a wealth of history that is far beyond the capability of this overview. This is very well catered for by a visit the Inishmore Tourist Office or better still the Ionad Arainn Heritage Centre that is a few minutes’ walk from Kilronan. It presents a guided tour that takes its visitors through 2000 years in the life and times of an Aran islander. The Centre also shows the 1934 documentary film 'Man of Aran' by Robert O'Flaherty which should be seen if possible. Other works of literature by some of the islands best-known writers and poets including Liam O'Flaherty and Mairtin O'Direain are also available here. Both were inspired by life on the islands of Aran, and O'Direain is thought of as Ireland’s unacknowledged poet laureate. In addition to this Ionad Arainn has many displays of local crafts such as curragh and traditional Aran sweater making.

Aran Island curragh
Image: Seba Sofariu


Walkers will find the island a paradise. A journey over the craggy cliffs and along the indented coast will present an abundance of wildlife plus hundreds of varieties of wildflowers that have for centuries offered inspiration to the artists and photographers exhibited in Ionad Arainn.


Inishmore guided tour
Image: Seba Sofariu


The island’s ecosystem is unique and an extension of The Burren. Its terrain is composed of limestone pavements with crisscrossing cracks known as grikes, crevices, leaving isolated rocks called clints. The grikes provide moist shelter, thus supporting a wide range of plants including dwarf shrubs. This added to the islands unusually temperate climate, with average air temperatures ranging from 15°C in July to 6°C in January, provides one of the longest growing seasons in Ireland or Britain that supports diverse and rich plant growth. The island has arctic, Mediterranean and alpine plants side-by-side, due to the unusual environment. Late May is the sunniest time, and also likely the best time to view flowers, with the gentians and avens peaking, but orchid species bloom later.


Dusk Kilronan Harbour
Image: Seba Sofariu


From a boating perspective Inishmore, Árainnmhór or Inis Mhór, akin to Skellig Michael, is one of Ireland’s unique and magical experiences. Yet unlike Skellig Michael, it supports a good anchorage with resources ashore to make it viable for a stay of several very enjoyable days.

Other options in this area


Click the 'Next' and 'Previous' buttons to progress through neighbouring havens in a coastal 'clockwise' or 'anti-clockwise' sequence. Alternatively here are the ten nearest havens available in picture view:
Coastal clockwise:
Aughinish Bay - 13.3 miles E
Kinvara Bay - 15.7 miles E
South Bay & Rincarna Bay - 16 miles ENE
Galway Docks - 14.9 miles ENE
Spiddle - 9.3 miles ENE
Coastal anti-clockwise:
Inishmaan - 2 miles ESE
Inisheer - 3.7 miles ESE
Ballyvaughan Bay - 11.6 miles E
Fanore Bay - 8.2 miles E
Doolin Pier (Ballaghaline Quay) - 6.9 miles ESE

Navigational pictures


These additional images feature in the 'How to get in' section of our detailed view for Kilronan.






































Aerial view of Kilronan



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