After a very busy couple of months of fieldwork, scheduling, reporting and all that goes with a busy Ecology Consultancy, the INIS team spent last Thursday 15th June on Inis Mor on a well-deserved staff day out!

We arrived on Inis Mór on the first boat from Doolin and grabbed a cup of coffee at the Aran Island café. The team met with tour guide Michael Moylan and travelled to the tour starting point on the far side of the island at Pol na Peist, or the Worm Hole. As we walked, Michael provided amazing commentary about the surrounding area, its people and how they survived on the island historically, right up to this present day.

Stories of storm surges sweeping over the island were hard to reconcile against the sun-drenched, idyllic isle we were seeing, but Michaels evocative narrative was compelling!

As we moved up the rugged coastline, some of the resident seals swam along the shore and kept their eye on the visitors!

Seals, Islanders and a Wormhole

Inis Mór is known for its famous seal colony who have a long and complicated relationship with the islanders as they are sometimes known for munching on the local fishermen’s fish!

Poll Na Bpeist (The Wormhole), where the famous Red Bull Cliff Diving takes place, is a naturally carved blow hole on the island. It is a popular place for swimming and the water is as clear as day!

Michael explained here that the myth on the island is that the wormhole is a serpent’s layer, leaving the decision to yourself how you see it!

The team then made their way further up the coastline towards the prehistoric stone fort, Dun Aonghasa. This sits right on the sheer cliff edge and is estimated to be over 3,000 years old. The views from here are beautiful and the history in itself is incredible.

Michael gave us some interesting facts of how people lived within the fort and the remains of certain huts and religious markings can still be seen. After spending some time here, a stroll down the winding road towards the beach was next where some of the team cooled off with a group swim.

As the tour came to a close, we made our way back to the main town of Kilronan where our Managing Director, Howard Williams gave a presentation on the future direction Inis will be taking in the field of Ecology in Ireland and internationally – very exciting news which we will be sharing in future posts.

Beautiful plants, stunning scenery and plenty of birds and wildlife were seen all around the island . Perhaps best of all, a pod of Common Dolphins put on a spectacular display just as we got close to Doolin – a wonderful end to an enjoyable staff day out!