Inis Meain is the least visited island of the trio but don’t let this put you off, it has so much to offer, with beautiful scenery, numerous attractions and strong cultural heritage. Travel back in time and soak up the rich and unique culture that Inis Meáin has to offer. Let us get you started with a list of the main attractions.
The Inis Meain Way
The Inis Meain Way stretches for 8km (5 miles) and last up to 2 and a half hours, but there is a lot to see on this Trail.
1. Stone Forts
There are two spectacular Stone Forts on the island dating back between the 1st-7th centuries AD. Dun Fearbhai and Dun Chonchuir or “Conor’s Fort” (also known as “The Black Fort”). Dun Fearbhai has terraces along the inside of the walls which may have been for defenders to look over or for some ceremonial purpose. It is easy to climb onto the top of the wall, and worth it for the fine view of the low lying northern part of the island. ‘The Black Fort’ it is much larger than Dun Fearbhai. The view here is magnificent, across the North West corner of the island to the open bay.
Dun Conchuir is approached by a path over stiles, leading off the road just beyond Synge’s cottage. John M. Synge was a famous Irish playwright (1971-1909). He stayed on the Island every summer between the years (1898-1902). He based some of his plays ‘Riders to the sea’ and playboy of the Western World’.
2. Synge Chair (Cathaoir)
This was John M. Synge’s favourite spot, and it has superb views, across the sound to the cliffs on the south east corner of Inis Mór, and the big seas rolling in from America.
In the distance you may see great pillars of spray sprouting up well inland out of “puffing holes”. There are still a few traditional thatched cottages to be seen; the thatch is made from rye grass which grows on the island.
3. Inis Meain Knitwear Factory
Inis Meain Knitting Company was founded on the island in 1976 by Tarlach de Blácam and Áine Ní Chonghaile, inspired by the unique spirit, environment and heritage of the place.
The Knitwear Factory is one of the main sources of employment on the island. The factory produces high quality men’s fashion knitwear mainly for export to the most exclusive stores in Europe, Japan and Northern America.
Why not take a look at their exclusive range here http://inismeain.ie/
4. Leaba Dhiarmada ‘is Ghrainne
This translates to the ‘Bed of Diarmuid and Grainne’.
This is a wedge gallery grave of Neolithic or Early Bronze Age (4,000 BC). It was thought that it may be a place of ritual and a burial ground.
The name is a reference to the young couple who mythology tells us slept at these sites such as this wedge shaped tomb on Inis Meain, on their journey around Ireland, trying to escape from Fionn MacCool and the Fianna. Legend of Diarmaid and Grainne
5. Churches of Inis Meain
Teampeall na Seacht Mac Ri
Very little remains of this early church. By the south door is the Atharla Chinndeirge, grave of this saint, whose holy well, Tobar Chinndeirge is close by. This used to be a famous place for pilgrimage for all Connacht.
Eaglais Naomh Muire gan Smal
This is quite a modern church, dedicated in 1939, which is worth visiting for the altar by James Pearse (father of Padraic Pearse) and the amazing stained glass windows from the studio of Harry Clarke. The stoop, plague and font at the entrance come from the old 15th century church nearby.
Video link for more on Inis Meain
Now that you have got a taste of what Inis Meain can offer, let us take you there.
- Day Trips
- Overnight stays
- Inter-Islands transfers
Book your trip now and see the delights of Inis Meain for yourself.