The Most Populated Irish Islands

The harbor of Ireland's Valentia Island.
The harbor of Ireland's Valentia Island.

Ireland is an island located west of Great Britain and northwest of continental Europe, and is shared politically by the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Although Ireland is an island, the main island is often referred to as the mainland, since many smaller islands and islets are scattered around it and are part of Irish territory. The most populous islands of Ireland are listed below.

1. Great Island

Great Island of Ireland is located in Cork Harbor, close to Cork, a university city in Ireland. Great Island is Ireland's most populous island, and had a population of more than 13,000 in 2011. The island is famous for the tourist seaport town of Cobh that is located on the south side of the island.

2. Achill Island

Achill Island is the second most populated Irish island, with a population of 2,569 in 2011. The island is the largest Irish island in terms of size, with an area of 148 square km. The island is connected to the mainland by the Michael Davitt Bridge. The villages of Choire, Gob, Dooagh, Dooega, Keel, and Dooniver are some of the centers of population on the island. Achill Island has been inhabited by humans as early as 3000 BC, as evident by some of the artifacts found on the island. Achill parish hosts between 500 and 600 native speakers. Agriculture has never been a popular economic activity on the island, as the land does not support cultivation. Fishing was an important activity in the past, especially shark fishing. Currently, tourism is the mainstay of Achill Island's economy.

3. Gorumna

Gorumna Island is the third most populous island in Ireland, with a population of 1,055 in 2011. The island is located off west coast of Ireland and is part of the administrative division of County Galway. The island is connected to the mainland by the Béal an Daingin Bridge.

4. Inis Mór

Inis Mór is Ireland’s fourth most populous island, with a population of 845 individuals. Located in the Galway Bay, the island has an area of 31 square km, making it the largest of the group of Aran Islands. The island is noted for its strong Irish culture and loyalty towards the Irish language. The island is also home to numerous ancient Christian sites. Given the numerous tourist sites scattered across the island, Inis Mór is a major tourist destination. Ted Fest is an annual festival held on the island and is attended by a large crowd.

5. Valentia Island

Valentia Island is the fifth most populous island of Ireland, with a population of 655. It is located off the coast of the Iveragh Peninsula and is connected to the mainland by the Maurice O'Neill Memorial Bridge. Knightstown is the primary settlement on the island, and Chapeltown is the second most populated village. The island is endowed with natural beauty and rich history, which makes it an attractive tourist spot during the summer. Popular attractions include Fogher Cliffs, Geokaun Mountain, Glanleam House, sub-tropical gardens, a slate quarry, and a heritage center.

The Most Populated Irish Islands

RankName of IslandCountyPopulation (2011)
1Great IslandCork13,000
2Achill IslandMayo2,569
5Valentia IslandKerry665
7Arranmore or Aran IslandDonegal514
8Inch IslandDonegal448
9Inisheer or InishereGalway249
10Lettermullen or LettermullanGalway241

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