Inishbiggle

Islands in Co. Mayo in the West of Ireland

Inishbiggle, or Inis Bigil meaning the “Island of Fasting”, is located between the northeast of Achill Island and the mainland off the coast of Ballycroy. It is very small, 2.6km2, and appears like a stage horse looking east. The Bullsmouth Channel separates the island from Achill Island and it is reputed as one of the strongest currents in Europe. In wintertime the island can be inaccessible because of this sea current.

It offers breathtaking panoramic views of west Mayo and is an idyllic destination for walkers and for day trippers looking for a tranquil atmosphere, traditional life and old world customs. In the past the small community (now down to a few dozen people all elderly) used to live on farming and fishing.

Here fishermen dredged for oysters harvesting them with drift nets and bag-shaped nets. The oysters were collected by agents who sold them in County Clare. Early this century the oyster beds were destroyed by men from Murrisk and this industry got lost.

In summertime and in fair weather the island is accessible by boat from Doran's point at Ballycroy or Bullsmouth, Dooniver on Achill Island.

Every August Inis Bigil Festival takes place; over the years this event has become a popular outing.