|Rob and Tom on the Dingle Peninsula|
to the Blasket Islands and the Great Evacuation.
THE BLASKET ISLANDS AND SLEEPING GIANT - The Blasket Islands are a group of islands off the west coast of Ireland, forming part of County Kerry. The main island was called "The Great Blasket" and resembles a man sleeping on his back - that the locals refer to as "The Sleeping Giant." The islands were inhabited until 1953 by a completely Irish-speaking population, and today are part of the Gaeltacht. The word "Blasket" means "dangerous."
|"The Sleeping Giant" - the island looks like a man on his back|
HOW FAR BACK WERE THERE RESIDENTS? From the end of the 13th Century the Ferriter family leased the Islands from the Earls of Desmond, and from Sir Richard Boyle at the end of the 16th Century. They retained a castle there, at Rinn an Chaisleáin (Castle Point) in the lower village. However, when you look today, you will not find any castle ruins there, because the stones were all used to build other homes, including a school on the island in 1840. The same school was closed down in 1852 after the ravages of the Great Famine.
|Remains of a home on the peninsula|
|What a house on Blasket island looked like inside|
|A drawing of a blasket island home|
WHY WAS GREAT BLASKET ABANDONED?
|Picturesque view of the peninsula|
WAY OF LIFE- Basically the inhabitants of the island were fishermen. Some were farmers of potatoes, oats and rye, and boats actually tied sheep's and donkey's feet together so they could transport them from the mainland to the island!
To learn more of the history of the Dingle Peninsula, visit: http://www.dingle-peninsula.ie/home/the-blasket-islands/history-heritage-of-the-blasket-islands.html
There is an entire visitor's center at the western point of the Dingle Peninsula that has a museum dedicated to the former inhabitants of Great Blasket Island.
NEXT: WHAT'S A KILMAKEDAR?