Offshore Gweedore, County Donegal, Ireland
‘Inishsirrer’ is now a deserted ghost island, just under a mile offshore northwest Donegal. This small settlement of ‘Inishsirrer’ was once a thriving fishing community. Today this little island is sadly uninhabited. All that remains is this little ‘Ghost Town’ with its abandoned cottages, shops, dry stone walls & small harbour all echoing its once bustling past.
I’ve recently been updated by the last family who lived on this island. They said that the main reason it was abandoned is because the young were hired out, married or sent to Scotland seeking work. The remaining elderly who lived off the land got too old to resume the hard life of fishing alone, so they re-homed on mainland. Their well ran dry… so to speak. Worse news for them was that their little boats called ‘Curraghs’ could not carry much weight resulting in these families having to leave all their heavy possessions & furniture behind. The homes on this island were virtually left the way they were the day the last residents rowed their boats away 😔 My heart goes out to those poor families. To this day nobody actually knows who owns this island or even if it is owned by anyone at all?
One can’t help but feel a strong sense of admiration towards its once hard-working community during the good times that have now sadly long passed. At one era in time would be heard the sounds of dogs barking, chickens cooing, children laughing, fishermen singing now forgotten songs, squalling seagulls fighting over leftover fish discarded from the daily catch. In the evening the crackling sounds & smell of freshly lit turf fires from each cottage could be sensed from everywhere on this isle. Nowadays these are mere echoes of the past, deep silence is all that comes from ‘Inishsirrer’ anymore…… but I hope these memories/tales will never be forgotten & will be passed down throughout our future generations through stories, paintings & photography 📖