Clare Island has a long history of habitation dating back to, at least, 3500 B.C. Pre the Great Irish Potato Famine (1845 – 1852) the island’s population peaked at 1700 in 1841. The famine brought great hardship, death and emigration reducing the population by half. Today old potato ridges or ‘lazy beds’ are to be seen everywhere: the evening sun reveals them jutting out from the land like the rib cages of some dying beast.

Clare Island also boasts a rich cultural heritage witnessed through its many craftspeople, artists, musicians and dancers.