Inisheer, the smallest of the three Aran Islands in Galway Bay, Ireland
© Chris Hill/Minden Picture
The Emerald Isle
Anyone wandering across the tiny Irish island of Inisheer on 17 March, might well be greeted with a hearty 'Lá fhéile Pádraig sona dhuit!' Nearly all the island’s 260 residents could wish you a happy Saint Patrick’s Day in their native tongue.
At just over three square miles, Inisheer - also known as Inis Oírr - is the smallest of the three Aran Islands which sit across the mouth of Galway Bay in western Ireland. It has been inhabited since prehistoric times and artefacts of Bronze Age, Pagan, Celtic, Early Christian, Norman-Irish and more recent settlements have been found scattered within its borders. The tiny drystone wall subdivisions of the fields you can see in our homepage image are a result of a long tradition of splitting family farms between all the children. After a few generations, farms were reduced to the small patches you can see here.
The islanders are known for keeping the traditional language, music, art and stories alive, so will be celebrating the day in style. And while travel is restricted for now, you could always plan a trip in future years for 14 June, when residents celebrate the island’s patron saint, Saint Caomhán. Bonus: It’s likely to be a little warmer and drier then, too.