Welcome to Clare Island
Clare Island lies off the south Mayo coast at the entrance to Clew Bay. Its spectacular cliffs are home to large numbers of nesting sea birds and its hills, bogs and woodlands make it ideal for hill walking. It is the largest of Mayo’s offshore islands, measuring approx 8 km long and 4.8 km wide. It has a population of approximately 130. Through the Middle Ages, Clare Island was part of the territory of the O’Malley family, rulers of western Connacht. The ruin of a Tower House, known as Grace O’Malley’s castle, because of its most famous resident, lies close to the pier at the eastern edge of the island. The small Cistercian Abbey near the south coast, founded by the O’Malleys, contains their ‘Clan’ tomb, a possible burial site of Grace O’Malley. The Abbey is known for its rare medieval roof & wall paintings. The Clare Island Lighthouse accommodation is 6km from the Pier at the northern tip of the island.