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Inishkea Island South

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Overview





Inishkea South is an island that lies on the northwest coast of Ireland, to the north of Achill Island and off the Mullet peninsula. It affords an anchorage for vessels in fine weather, but the holding ground is not good. It can be distinguished by a round grassy hill with a flag-staff and a beacon on it, and it has outlying rocks extending for half a mile to the southward of it.

Inishkea South is an island that lies on the northwest coast of Ireland, to the north of Achill Island and off the Mullet peninsula. It affords an anchorage for vessels in fine weather, but the holding ground is not good. It can be distinguished by a round grassy hill with a flag-staff and a beacon on it, and it has outlying rocks extending for half a mile to the southward of it.

Tolerable shelter can be found at the anchorage to the north of Rusheen Island from the south round through west to north. Access is straightforward in settled conditions in daylight at any stage of the tide.



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Keyfacts for Inishkea Island South



Last modified
March 5th 2020

Summary* Restrictions apply

A tolerable location with straightforward access.

Facilities
Slipway availablePleasant family beach in the area


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationBeach or shoreline landing from a tenderQuick and easy access from open waterScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinityHistoric, geographic or culturally significant location; or in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Restriction: shallow, drying or partially drying pierLittle air protection



Position and approaches
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Haven position

54° 7.278' N, 010° 12.049' W

this is the position at the anchorage in the bay north of Rusheen islet.

What is the initial fix?

The following Inishkea Islands initial fix. will set up a final approach:
54° 3.299' N, 010° 13.920' W
this is the position in the North Atlantic Ocean midway between Inishkea South and Saddle Head.


What are the key points of the approach?

Offshore details are available in Western Ireland’s coastal overview from Slyne Head to Erris 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 Inishkea Island South for your convenience.
    Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
    1. Blacksod Pier - 3.2 miles ESE
    2. Elly Bay - 3.3 miles ENE
    3. Frenchport (Portnafrankagh) - 5.1 miles NNE
    4. Keem Bay - 5.9 miles S
    5. Keel Bay - 6.3 miles SSE
    6. Broadhaven Bay - 8.3 miles NE
    7. Ross Port - 10.5 miles NE
    8. Portacloy Bay - 12.1 miles NE
    9. Porturlin Bay - 13 miles NE
    10. Clare Island - 13.1 miles SSE
    These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
    1. Blacksod Pier - 3.2 miles ESE
    2. Elly Bay - 3.3 miles ENE
    3. Frenchport (Portnafrankagh) - 5.1 miles NNE
    4. Keem Bay - 5.9 miles S
    5. Keel Bay - 6.3 miles SSE
    6. Broadhaven Bay - 8.3 miles NE
    7. Ross Port - 10.5 miles NE
    8. Portacloy Bay - 12.1 miles NE
    9. Porturlin Bay - 13 miles NE
    10. Clare Island - 13.1 miles SSE
    To find locations with the specific attributes you need try:

    Resources search



    What's the story here?
    Killary Harbour Inishkea South
    Image: Gareth Wray


    The Inishkea Islands lie almost parallel to and within 2 miles of the western side of Mullet Peninsula. The group consists of Inishkea South and Inishkea North, separated by a narrow channel, and numerous rocks and shoals. At the inner end of which, and on the north side of Rusheen Island, there is anchorage for small vessels in fine weather, but the holding ground is not good. A small quay lies on the northeastern extremity of Inishkea South near the deserted village and protected by Rusheen Island.

    The best protection can be found in the anchorage to the north of Rusheen Island. It is also possible to anchor off the small quay.


    How to get in?
    Mullet Peninsula left with the Inishkeas seen offshore
    Image: Adrian Weckler


    Convergance Point Use western Ireland’s coastal overview from Slyne Head to Erris Head Route location for approaches. Blacksod Bay is entered between the southern extremity of Mullet Peninsula and Achill Island 4 miles east by southeast.

    Inishkea South can be positively identified by a rounded grassy hill, 66 metres high, with two white beacons, a flagstaff, and a chimney on its summit. The island is separated from a group of above-water rocks which lie within ½ mile of its southern end by a narrow deep channel. But this channel should be used only by vessels with local knowledge.

    Southern Approach Vessels approaching from the south should give Turduvillaun in order to avoid the dangers off its western side.

    Northern Approach Vessels approaching from the north should keep clear of Inishkea North, and the other island of the group, that are surrounded by foul ground on all except its steep-to western side. The primary danger for the anchorage is Pluddany Rock. This is a dangerous drying ledge that extends about 1,100 metres eastward from the southeastern end of Inishkea North. Vessels approaching from the north may use the alignment of 198° T of Turduvillaun, the little western hummocky islet off Duvillaun More, and the Ears of Achill, 5¾ miles farther along south-by-southwest, as best seen on Admiralty Chart 2704 to pass 300 metres clear Pluddany Rock.

    The currents set through the above channels at a maximum rate of about 2 knots at springs.

    Yacht anchored off the pier
    Image: © cpobyrne


    Haven location Anchor according to draft to the north of Rusheen Island or, conditions permitting, to the southwest of the island off of the pier.

    The best spot for a beach landing is in the rounded bay in the southeast below the abandoned village, but there are other spots at various beaches around the island and one just short of the northern tip is where a seal colony resides.


    Why visit here?
    The name Inishkea Islands in Irish Gaelic is Inis Ge meaning islands of the geese, but it is thought that originally the name was for Naomh Geidh or Saint Ge.

    Inishkea South's deserted village
    Image: Aiden Clarke via CC BY 2.0
    Despite their location and extreme exposure, the Inishkea islands North and South were first colonised in Neolithic times and were then early Christian outposts around the 6th to 9th centuries. The ruins of St. Colmcille's church and some bee-hive cells can be explored on Inishkea North. The first written reference to the islands was a letter from Pope Innocent III appointing a local Bishop in 1198. The islands were re-populated in the 18th century, and there was a thriving and stable Irish community into the mid 20th century who fared relatively well during the mid 19C potato famine as the prevailing westerly winds did not spread the blight offshore, and farming, fishing and salvage from wrecks could provide the islanders with a living.

    Cultivation ridges still visible on an Inishkea South hill
    Image: Aiden Clarke via CC BY 2.0
    In the Civil War of 1922/23 the two islands famously took opposing sides with consequences which now appear comical. The north island took the pro-treaty side and the South island took the Republican side, and on one occasion they both formed up on either side of the narrow channel between the two islands and hurled rocks at each other.

    The disaster of 1927 dealt a major blow to the Inishkea's and their neighbouring islands. Late October was marked by strong and persistent southwesterly winds, but on the afternoon of the 28th, it was calm enough for herring boats to put to sea from several ports. However, an intense secondary depression then swept through, producing strong southeasterlies quickly veering north-west and strengthening to severe gale force with steep and confused seas. Many of the boats which were under oars or sail, foundered or were swept helplessly ashore. Forty-four young fishermen lost their lives, of which ten were from the Inishkea's, and fishing is a family business many were related. The communities never recovered and shortly after in the early 1930's the inhabitants of both North and South Inishkea left the islands.

    Today the islands are mainly used for grazing and are a major breeding ground for Atlantic seals and colonies of sea birds. The derelict cottages still stand, some of them being renovated for holiday homes, or as summer fishing bases. The islands are little known outside the local area but are well known by fishermen who regularly use the island's harbour.

    Old dry stone walls leading up from the harbour
    Image: Aiden Clarke via CC BY 2.0
    The Inishkea's are relatively low lying islands, and their landscape is covered with machair (grasses, heathers and heath) and fine white sand that is often blown in drifts by the strong winds, especially along the beach on the South island beside the harbour where it drifts and fills the houses of the abandoned village with their floors covered in several feet of the sand. With their sandy beaches, the landscape dominated by machair, and the oceanic environment, the Inishkea's much resemble the islands of the Outer Hebrides.

    The south island is perhaps the more attractive and has the advantage of a sheltered beach landing-place below the ruins of the abandoned village beside a stone pier. Good reliable water can usually be had in a small well 100 metres south of the pier just above the first beach where the sand meets the grass. There are no other facilities available.

    The north island is separated from the South by a narrow sound, and its most visible feature is a huge burial mound just east of the old village at the southeastern tip, its humpbacked shape is dominant from most angles. The dead of both islands were buried on the north island.

    Standing stone on Inishkea South
    Image: Tourism Ireland


    From a boating point of view these are outstandingly beautiful and pleasant islands, not to be missed if sailing in the area.


    What facilities are available?
    There are no facilties available at this location.


    With thanks to:
    Michael Harpur eOceanic.







    Kayaking trip around the Iniskeas and the Duvillauns.


    About Inishkea Island South

    The name Inishkea Islands in Irish Gaelic is Inis Ge meaning islands of the geese, but it is thought that originally the name was for Naomh Geidh or Saint Ge.

    Inishkea South's deserted village
    Image: Aiden Clarke via CC BY 2.0
    Despite their location and extreme exposure, the Inishkea islands North and South were first colonised in Neolithic times and were then early Christian outposts around the 6th to 9th centuries. The ruins of St. Colmcille's church and some bee-hive cells can be explored on Inishkea North. The first written reference to the islands was a letter from Pope Innocent III appointing a local Bishop in 1198. The islands were re-populated in the 18th century, and there was a thriving and stable Irish community into the mid 20th century who fared relatively well during the mid 19C potato famine as the prevailing westerly winds did not spread the blight offshore, and farming, fishing and salvage from wrecks could provide the islanders with a living.

    Cultivation ridges still visible on an Inishkea South hill
    Image: Aiden Clarke via CC BY 2.0
    In the Civil War of 1922/23 the two islands famously took opposing sides with consequences which now appear comical. The north island took the pro-treaty side and the South island took the Republican side, and on one occasion they both formed up on either side of the narrow channel between the two islands and hurled rocks at each other.

    The disaster of 1927 dealt a major blow to the Inishkea's and their neighbouring islands. Late October was marked by strong and persistent southwesterly winds, but on the afternoon of the 28th, it was calm enough for herring boats to put to sea from several ports. However, an intense secondary depression then swept through, producing strong southeasterlies quickly veering north-west and strengthening to severe gale force with steep and confused seas. Many of the boats which were under oars or sail, foundered or were swept helplessly ashore. Forty-four young fishermen lost their lives, of which ten were from the Inishkea's, and fishing is a family business many were related. The communities never recovered and shortly after in the early 1930's the inhabitants of both North and South Inishkea left the islands.

    Today the islands are mainly used for grazing and are a major breeding ground for Atlantic seals and colonies of sea birds. The derelict cottages still stand, some of them being renovated for holiday homes, or as summer fishing bases. The islands are little known outside the local area but are well known by fishermen who regularly use the island's harbour.

    Old dry stone walls leading up from the harbour
    Image: Aiden Clarke via CC BY 2.0
    The Inishkea's are relatively low lying islands, and their landscape is covered with machair (grasses, heathers and heath) and fine white sand that is often blown in drifts by the strong winds, especially along the beach on the South island beside the harbour where it drifts and fills the houses of the abandoned village with their floors covered in several feet of the sand. With their sandy beaches, the landscape dominated by machair, and the oceanic environment, the Inishkea's much resemble the islands of the Outer Hebrides.

    The south island is perhaps the more attractive and has the advantage of a sheltered beach landing-place below the ruins of the abandoned village beside a stone pier. Good reliable water can usually be had in a small well 100 metres south of the pier just above the first beach where the sand meets the grass. There are no other facilities available.

    The north island is separated from the South by a narrow sound, and its most visible feature is a huge burial mound just east of the old village at the southeastern tip, its humpbacked shape is dominant from most angles. The dead of both islands were buried on the north island.

    Standing stone on Inishkea South
    Image: Tourism Ireland


    From a boating point of view these are outstandingly beautiful and pleasant islands, not to be missed if sailing in the area.

    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:
    Frenchport (Portnafrankagh) - 5.1 miles NNE
    Broadhaven Bay - 8.3 miles NE
    Ross Port - 10.5 miles NE
    Portacloy Bay - 12.1 miles NE
    Porturlin Bay - 13 miles NE
    Coastal anti-clockwise:
    Elly Bay - 3.3 miles ENE
    Blacksod Pier - 3.2 miles ESE
    Keem Bay - 5.9 miles S
    Keel Bay - 6.3 miles SSE
    Rabbit Island - 16.1 miles ESE

    Navigational pictures


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




















    Kayaking trip around the Iniskeas and the Duvillauns.



    A photograph is worth a thousand words. We are always looking for bright sunny photographs that show this haven and its identifiable features at its best. If you have some images that we could use please upload them here. All we need to know is how you would like to be credited for your work and a brief description of the image if it is not readily apparent. If you would like us to add a hyperlink from the image that goes back to your site please include the desired link and we will be delighted to that for you.


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