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Inishbofin near Clifden County Galway Ireland
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Inishbofin   ~   Clifden

 
       
Inishbfin (Island of the White Cow) lies seven miles off Galway's coast. The island is five miles by three. It is estimated that Bofin was inhabited as far back as 8000 - 4000 B.C. The first documented history of the island dates from early Christian times. As you sail around the tower and signal light into the harbour you will notice Cromwell's 16th Century Barracks.

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Travel to Inishbofin from Clifden County Galway
 
It was used as a prison for catholic priests from all over the country after the English Statute of 1585 declared them guilty of high treason. The first reference of Bofin comes from the seventh century. Again, it has often been related how St. Colman, himself of Connacht origin, defended the Celtic custom of the dating of Easter at the Synod of Whitby in 664. Several safe sandy beaches strewn with shells and with crystal clear water make swimming, snorkelling and diving a joy. For the more adventurous, crystal clear water makes for spectacular diving.
 
Scenery at Inishbofin, County Galway, Ireland Walking ; Although Inishbofin is just 5.5 km long by 3 km wide, it contains four peninsular, each of which is a spectacular costal walk. Interesting coves, sea stacks and blow holes as well as bird and seal colonies are among the attractions here. The internal walks along Bofin's 10km of road are varied and interesting, with a number of lakes providing an added attraction. Remember to leave gates as you found them and avoid damaging dry-stone walls.
 
St. Colman's Monastic Ruin
Inishbofin is first mentioned in the ancient annals when a monastic centre was founded here by St. Colman, bishop of Lindisfarne in the 17th centuary. All traces of this settlement have now disappeared, but the ruins of St. Colman's Abbey, a medieval church, is said to mark the site.
 
Cromwellian Fort
Built in 1657, the fort was used as a prison for bishops, priests and monks before they were transported to the American colonies. The fort is situated at the entrance to Inishbofin's beautiful natural harbour, now very popular with international sailing enthusiasts.
 
Natural attractions
The island has a great variety of interesting sea, bird and plant life. It is a breeding ground for both the grey and the common seal. It is also one of the few places in Ireland where the corncrake can still be heard. As Inishbofin is surrounded by the best fishing waters in Europe it is popular with anglers. Its exceptional underwater visibility and depths make it particularly attractive for scuba divers.

 
Sea view at Inishbofin, County Galway, Ireland Corncrake in Inishbofin, County Galway, Ireland
   
Wildlife
Inishbofin is a breeding area for many species of birds. The rarest or most threatened species breeding on the island at present are the Corncrake. The Corncrake have been nesting and breeding on Inishbofin for many years. The island was farm machinery free up until the beginning of the eighties, which suited the nesting habits of the Corncrake. Implements used at that time would include hand driven hay machines and many farmers would have used the Scythe, which was a slow process and gave the Corncrake ample time to move into the next meadow. Nowadays farmers when cutting their crop tend to mow from the outer borders of the fields to the inner. As the Corncrake is a very shy bird it stays in centre of the meadow and sometimes farm machinery can destroy the bird and its siblings. A change in farming practise on the island during the 1990s and a greater understanding of the nesting habits of the Corncrake has seen the reinvigoration of the bird on Inishbofin. Other species of bird found breeding of Inishbofin include Common Tern, Arctic Tern, Fulmers, Shags, Guillemots, Common Gulls, greater and lesser Black Backed Gulls, Manx Shearwaters, Herring Gulls and Choughs. There are some very scenic breeding areas on the island, which can be viewed from a distance without causing distress to the breeding.

Heritage Museum
If you would like to find out more about life on the island in bygone days, why not visit the Inishbofin Heritage Museum? There are many interesting items on display, such as the contents of a traditional cottage, old farming and fishing implements, old photographs and writings, accounts of local tragedies such as drownings and famine - and much more. There is an interesting array of items on sale in the souvenir shop including the following:
a detailed map of the island outlining all that the facilities and attractions that are on offer to the discerning tourist; chronicles of the island including: "Inishbofin through time and tide" written by local people and the most comprehensive study of Inishbofin to date; framed photographs of the island - including some fantastic scenery shots; customised accessories such as biros and key rings;
 
Seal Colony
Seal colonies can be found in two areas on and around Inishbofin Island. The first one is based on the island near the Stags Rock. This colony, while still viewable, is in serious decline over the past ten to fifteen years. It has not been well researched or documented why this is the case. The decline in fish stocks could be one reason for the decrease of the seal population in this area. A second colony can be seen near the island of Inishgort that is situated approximately one mile West of Inishbofin Harbour. This colony can be accessed only by boat and this may be the reason that seals congregate in this area. The only visitors they receive are the fishermen setting and hauling their lobster pots.
   
Travel To Inishbofin

Inishbofin Island Ferry ; Inishbofin Island, County Galway
Tel: +353 ((0)95 45903                Email: inishbofinferry@eircom.net 
Super Ferry "M.V. Galway Bay" - The largest ferry service to Inishbofin.

Inishbofin Island Discovery ; Cloonamore, Inishbofin Island, Co. Galway,
Tel: +353 (0)95 45819                 Email: info@inishbofinislanddiscovery.com
The "Island Discovery" sails all year. Cleggan is the point of departure for ferry service to the island.It is only a 30 minute crossing from Cleggan to Inishbofin aboard the fast, comfortable ferry - "The Island Discovery".
 
 

 

 
Towns & Localities in County Galway

 Aran Islands | Athenry | Ballinasloe | Ballygar | Barna | Carna | Carraroe | Claregalway | Clarinbridge | Clifden | Clonbur | Corofin
Connemara | Corrandulla | Dunmore | Galway City | Glenamaddy | Gort | Headford | Kinvara | Leenane | Loughrea | Milltown | Monivea
 Mountbellew | Moycullen | Oranmore | Oughterard | Portumna | Renvyle | Salthill | Spiddal | Tuam | Turloughmore | Williamstown
 

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