Clare Island

  • Funding of almost €180,000 has been allocated for two Mayo islands.

    The Minister with responsibility for the islands Sean Kyne has approved over €92,000 for Clare Island and €86,300 for Inishturk.


    The funding is part of a Government investment of over half a million euro to support the development companies and co-operatives on five islands in Mayo, Galway and Cork - and will cover administrative and operations costs such as salaries and office accommodation.


    Island development companies, such as Inishturk Development Company and Clare Island Development Company are involved in key aspects of island life, including the provision of services, employment and education, as well as tourism, heritage and culture.



  • An Post this week carried out Ireland’s first ever autonomous parcel delivery from mainland to island using a drone.

    Just after 3.30pm on Thursday the company delivered a parcel by drone from Roonagh Pier in Mayo to Clare Island.


  • Around 200 voters will go to the polls today on the three Mayo islands.

    115 people are eligible to vote on Clare Island, 50 on Inishturk and 20 on Inishbiggle.

    Voting is taking place on 11 islands in total today off the Mayo, Galway and Donegal coasts while the mainland voters go the polls tomorrow, along with voters on the Cork islands.

  • A boil water notice on Clare Island has been lifted with immediate effect.

    The boil water notice was issued last Friday week - 12th March - after cryptosporidium was detected in the water supply on the island.

    The boil water notice affected 165 customers supplied by the Clare Island Public Water Supply.

    However, Irish Water and Mayo County Council are advising customers today that the drinking water can now be consumed, as normal.


  • A Clare Island fisherman has launched High Court proceedings aimed at stopping the laying of fibre optic cable off the Mayo coast, as part of a multi-million international communication project.

    James O’Toole has brought a legal challenge against the granting of a licence to the Irish leg of the project which will see a Trans-Atlantic subsea cable system connect Northern Europe and the US.

    The Irish branch of the cable system is called "America Europe Connect 2" and is owned by a consortium of IT companies including Facebook and Google.

    The consortium is a notice party to the proceedings against the Minister of State at the Department of Planning and Local Government which granted a foreshore licence earlier this year.

    A Trans-Atlantic fibre optic cable extending from the US to Denmark, with spurs to Ireland and Norway, is under construction. The planned route for the Irish spur includes a landfall at Old Head on the southern side of Clew Bay, over three kms from Louisburgh.

    A High Court judge yesterday entered the case to the fast track Commercial Court where Clare island fisherman, James O’Toole, is challenging the granting of a foreshore licence to bring the fibre optic cable ashore at Old Head.

    James Devlin - senior counsel for Mr O’Toole - told the court his client will also be applying to the High Court In the next few days for a stay on any work being carried out, pending a court determination on the legal challenge.

    The hearing on whether a stay should be granted until the legal challenge is determined will be decided later this week.




  • A meeting organised by Clare Island Fishermen’s Group held earlier this month, heard a number of concerns that the group have in relation to the proposed laying of a fibre optic cable in Clew Bay, connecting the US with Europe.

    Aqua Comms have applied for a foreshore licence for the cable.

    It is proposed to lay the cable in a free floating unanchored way, on a 25-30km, stretch of seabed north of Clare Island and west of Achill.

    The Clare Island Fishermen’s Group say it is proposed to hold responsible any vessel which snags this cable, which they say effectively creates a serious hazard at sea.

    The group is also concerned about where the cable is due to make landfall – close to the harbour at Old Head. They say it would cause serious issues and danger for the passenger ferries at that location.

    They are also concerned about the impact on the future development of Old Head as a possible deep sea port.

    The group is holding another meeting this Saturday at 12 noon on Clare Island and all are welcome to attend.

    In a statement to Midwest News Aqua Comms say:

    There are over one million miles of subsea cable laid across the world. They are a simple and safe technology that facilitate our phone, TV and internet communications.

    There are currently 20 cables landing in Ireland and they do not represent either an obstruction or a hazard.  

    The concerns raised by Mr O’Malley are all perfectly understandable, but we are confident that we can address each and every one.

    • The narrow 4-centimetre wide cable will be buried two meters below the seabed. 


    • It has a reinforced protective steel coating, weighs 4 kg per metre and cannot float.


    • For a small portion of rocky outcrop the cable will be fixed firmly to the seabed, by virtue of its weight and the tension applied.


    • The cable is too heavy and strong to be lifted by a fishing boat but if damaged, it automatically switches off.


    All of these issues have been discussed at a number of meetings of the regional fisheries forum which were attended by representatives of the Clare Island Fishermens’ group.

    • Finally, we have had a positive engagement with the local ferry operator and from our engagement with the Council we are confident that the cable will not hamper any future development of Old Head.


  • While many Covid-19 restrictions have now been eased since Monday, Clare Island off the Mayo coast is asking visitors not to travel to the island until later this month.

    The Government has permitted travel to offshore islands by non-residents since Monday, but the large majority of tourism operators on Clare Island have decided to remain closed until Friday 17th July.

    In a statement from the island's development company, they say many tourism operators are not opening until that date, as they need to finish ongoing renovations, recruit seasonal staff, order supplies and put in place appropriate Covid-19 infrastructure.

    Until that date - two weeks from this Friday - accommodation, food, drink and other essential facilities will not be available to tourists.

    After that date, visitors to Clare Island are asked to observe social distancing and wear a facemask on the ferry.

  • The need for better infrastructure to be provided by Mayo County Council on the access roads to Mayo blue flag beaches, and on the beaches themselves, was raised by Fine Gael Westport based councillor Peter Flynn at this month’s meeting of Mayo County Council.

    While the councillor said the local authority does a good job on retaining blue flag beach status on beaches across the county, nonetheless, he believes the emphasis and efforts cannot be simply confined to water quality and safety. The need for better roads, maintenance of culverts, and other basic infrastructure he argues, is equally important.

    He highlighted problems at two of the county’s Blue Flag beaches  - at Clare island and at Old Head.

    Councillor Flynn outlined his concerns to Midwest News today.

  • The first ever virtual O’Malley Clan Gathering will take place this afternoon at 4pm.

    The O’Malley Clan Gathering is an annual event which began over 65 years ago, however due to the current restrictions in place this year’s gathering will take place in a virtual capacity.

    The event will be broadcast from the home of Grace O’Malley on Clare Island and led by the Chieftain’s of the O’Malley Clan.

    Over the course of the hour, the gathering will take viewers on a cultural, historical and musical journey to celebrate the contribution of the O’Malley’s around the world.

    People can register to watch today’s event by logging on to

  • Funding of €339,000 has been allocated for works on three of Mayo’s offshore islands.

    The funding has been approved for various works on Inisturk, Clare Island and Claggan Island.

    €174,000 has been approved for the purchase of land and construction of a helipad on Inisturk, with a further €15,000 for the construction of a pier wall.

    €112,500 has been granted for roadworks and resurfacing of roads near the chapel on Clare Island and €37,500 for roadworks on Claggan Island.

    The funding is being provided to Mayo County Council and Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring told Midwest News that he is hoping the work is carried out without delay.

  • Gardai are investigating after a 13-year old boy was killed in a single-vehicle crash on Clare Island early this morning.

    It happened at around 1am after a car hit a ditch at The Quay on the County Mayo Island.

    The stretch of road where the incident occurred was closed for examination.

    The teenager is believed to have been visiting the island to attend a funeral service.


  • Gardai in Mayo are investigating a single vehicle collision which occurred on Clare Island last night.

    One man died after his car collided with a ditch.

    The male teenager died when the car he was driving collided with a ditch at The Quay, Clare Island at approximately 1am this morning.

    He was pronounced dead at the scene, however his age has not been released yet.

    Gardaí at Louisburgh are investigating the single vehicle crash.

    The road has been closed to facilitate an examination by Garda Forensic experts.

    Gardaí are appealing to anyone with information to contact Westport Gardai on 098-50230 or any Garda Station.

    Is comes as the RSA has issued a warning to road users on this August Bank Holiday weekend.

    The organisation says Sunday's are one of the most dangerous days of the week on Irish roads.

    They are asking people to slow down and keep within the speed limit at all times


  • One in eight people on Clare Island has been infected with Covid-19.

    The Irish Times reports 20 of the 160 residents of the Mayo island have tested positive for the virus, making it one of the most infected communities in the country.

    A public health team travelled to the island by ferry last week to carry out tests on suspected Covid-19 cases, assisting the two public health nurses who live there.

    Locals have indicated increased socialising over Christmas as the cause of the spike in infections.

    The island is in the Belmullet Electoral Area, which according to latest figures has the highest incidence rate of Covid 19 in the country.


  • Following advice from the HSE, Irish Water and Mayo County Council have issued a Boil Water Notice for the area supplied by the Clare Island Public Water Supply to protect approximately 165 people following a recent drinking water quality test.

    The Boil Water Notice has been put in place due to the detection of cryptosporidium in the Clare Island Public Water Supply.

    Experts from Irish Water and Mayo County Council are working to assess the situation and investigate and implement solutions to lift the notice as quickly as possible.

    In the meantime, all customers of this supply are advised to boil water before use until further notice.

  • Islanders on Mayo’s smallest populated island, Inishbiggle, were due to receive the Covid 19 vaccine today, however, that has now been postponed until tomorrow (Tues) due to weather conditions hampering travel out to the island today.

    Dr Noreen Lineen Curtis told Midwest News this afternoon that she had secured the required number of vaccines for Inishbiggle today and was disappointed that weather did not allow the air corps helicopter to travel out with them, but it will bring the vaccines out to the islanders tomorrow.

    Islanders on neighbouring Clare Island were due to receive their jabs tomorrow and Wed, but that has now been pushed out to Wed and Thursday, as vaccinations will be administered on Inishbiggle tomorrow and the following two days on Clare Island.