Islands Offshore Erris in Co. Mayo
Rocky small islands make a feature of the northern coast of magnificent Mayo.
STAGS OF BROADHAVEN
The Stags of Broadhaven are located 3km off Erris Head in North Mayo, not far from the spectacular cliffs of Benwee Head. They are four pyramid shaped rocky islands which rise to over 70 metres above sea level: Teach Mor is 92 metres in high, Teach Donal O’Clerigh 93 metres, Teach Beg 71 metres and An-t-Oighean 75 metres. From a distance they look black and jagged.
They have caves and tunnels and, for this reason, they are a heaven for scuba divers, canoeists and adventurers.
The Stags are uninhabited and over the centuries neither monks, pirates or graziers occupied the islands because the landing was difficult and quite impossible.
The small Kid Island lies off Erris in North Mayo. It covers 32 acres and rises 95 metres above sea level. In summer flocks of sheep graze freely on the island.
According to local tale, the rapparee Borowsky had his stronghold here in 18th century.
Not far from Kid Island are three dramatic pinnacles: The Parson 30 metres in high, The Hag 70 metres in high and The Buddagh 80 metres in high.
Pig Island, Inishmuc in Irish, takes its name from its boar shape. Its rocky cliffs are 60 metres in high and it boasts one of the most breathtaking tunnel in the area. The tunnel, 19 metres in high, looks like a natural arch.
Duvillaun and its satellite islands lie close to the coast of the Mullet Peninsula, not far from Inishkea Islands and Inishglora in North Mayo.
The main island is Duvillaun More, Big Black Island in Irish, and the others are Duvillaun Beg, Little Black Island in Irish, Turduvillaun, Shiraghy Islands, Keely, Gaghta Island and Leamareha Island.
They appear to have a much duller colour with dark cliffs because they have the same geology as Achill, many miles to its south; they are composed of quartzite rock and are covered with blanket bog.
The islands were abandoned in 1920 and now they are a heaven for birdwatchers where many species of seabirds can nest without human disturbance.
They are home to shags, cormorants, fulmars, kittiwakes, Leach's petrels and peregrine falcons.
Duvillaun Mor boasts traces of an oratory which date from the Early Christian period, some interesting carved stones, a tomb with large stone slabs and some beehive huts of a similar type to those on Inishglora.
Eagle Island, in Irish Oileán san Tuaidh, is a small island off the Mullet Peninsula in North Mayo in Erris. It takes its name from the Golden and Sea Eagles which nest and live on the island.
It is located at a key turning point of the coast and for this reason two lighthouses were commissioned in 1830 one in the east and the other in the west of the island. In September 1835 the two 67m tall lighthouses became operational; they could be seen from Broadhaven Bay to Blacksod Bay.
The island is located close to the edge of the Continental Shelf and constantly beaten by waves and although a massive storm wall to protect the lighthouses were built one of them was completely destroyed by a violent storm in 1861; its remains can still be seen.
In 1988 the only lighthouse left was made automatic.
Puffin Island also called Illaunmaster or Moista is a green grassy cone 90m in high. It is a Nature Reserve where puffins nest and live.