Towns of Mayo
Clare Island —County Mayo
Clare Island is synonymous with Grace O'Malley, the formidable ruler of the district around Clew Bay during the second half of the 16th century. According to local tradition, following her death in 1600, her remains were interred in the decorated O'Malley wall-tomb in the Friary. Overlooking the harbour is a 15th/16th century O'Malley castle, which was modernised in 1831 to serve as a coastguard station.
Between 1909 and 1911, Robert Lloyd Praeger (1865-1953) and a group of specialists carried out one of the largest and most comprehensive natural history surveys ever undertaken on Clare Island and the results were published by The Royal Irish Academy.
A boat service is provided from Roonagh Quay, 6.5km west of Louisburgh, to Clare Island. The crossing takes 25 minutes. (Visitors should check with the local Tourist Information office or the Department of the Marine, to ensure that the boat they intend travelling on has a current passenger licence).