The Largest Islands in Ireland

Achill Island, the largest island of Ireland.
Achill Island, the largest island of Ireland.

The Island of Ireland is situated on the North Atlantic isolated from the Great Britain by the North Channel in the east. Ireland is one of the largest islands in Europe. The island is divided between Northern Ireland which is part of the UK and the Republic of Ireland. The geography of Ireland is relatively low-lying mountains and navigable rivers. The climate of the island is moderate and classified as oceanic with mild winter and cooler summer. Although Ireland itself is an island, several other smaller islands surrounding the main island. Some of the largest islands of Ireland by area include: 

Achill Island

Achill Island is the largest island on the main body of land that is Ireland. It is located off the west coast in County Mayo covering an area of 57 square miles. Achill Island is the second most populated island of Ireland with a population of 2,700 people with much of the migration to the island taking place in the 17th and 18th century. Achill Island is linked to the mainland by the Michael Davitt Bridge which is located between Achill Sound and Polrany. The economy of Achill Island relies heavily on tourism with several small industrial units also operating on the island.

Inishmore Island

Inishmore Island is the largest island among the Aran Islands located in the Galway Bay and the second biggest island in Ireland. The island covers an area of 12 square miles and has a population of about 845 inhabitants. Inishmore Island has neither bridge nor causeway connecting it to the mainland and is rich in Irish culture and loyal to the local language. The island is endowed with ancient sites including Dun Aengus, which is one of the most barbaric monuments in Europe. Inishmore Island is one of the major tourist destination islands of Ireland with accommodation facilities spread across the island.

Valentia Island

Valentia Island also called Valencia Island is located in the County Kerry and lies off the Iveragh Peninsula. The island is connected to the mainland by Maurice O’Neill Memorial Bridge at Portmagee. The island is approximately 10 square miles and has a permanent population of about 665 people. The features and history of Valentia Island make it one of the leading tourist destinations in Ireland. Some of the attractions on the island include Geokaun Mountain and Fogher Cliffs and the slate quarry. The main settlements on Valentia Island include Chapeltown village and Knightstown.

Great Island

Great Island is located in Cork Harbor outside the city of Cork at the mouth of River Lee. The name of the island comes from the Irish which means “The Great Island of the Barrys” which refers to the powerful Norman family who once settled on the island. The Great Island covers an area of 9.6 square miles and is the most populous island in Ireland with a population of more than 13,000 people. Cobh, which is a town on the Great Island, is connected to Fota Island which then connects to the mainland by a causeway.

Gorumna Island

Gorumna Island is located on the West Coast of Ireland and forms part of the County Galway. The island covers an area of 9.2 square miles and is the third most populous island in Ireland after the Great Island and Achill Island. Gorumna Island is linked to the mainland through the Beal a Daingin Bridge. The island can also be accessed by motorized boats and water canyons. The island consists of three individual islands including Lettermullen, Lettermore, and Tir an Fhia. One of the notable buildings on Gorumna Island is the Garmna Island Church.

The Ten Largest Islands Of Ireland By Area

RankEnglish nameCountyArea AcresPopulation 2011Population Rank
1Achill IslandMayo3528325692
3Valentia IslandKerry63716655
4Great IslandCork6115>130001
6Bere IslandCork437221611
8Clare IslandMayo394916812
9Inch IslandDonegal34254488

More in Environment