Stones, rocks, boulders, shards, pebbles, flints, cliffs, crags, escarpments, quarry, slab, lava and any other name that can be given to a rock or a rock formation and it is located on the Aran Islands, a stone’s throw from the west coast of Galway, supposedly the last land masses before the Americas in the west.
Here, 9 miles out to sea, is a trio of islands. Today, we visited, Inis Mor, making the crossing by high speed ferry in about 40 minutes to the port of Kilronan. The year round population is 851. There are 3 schools, 3 churches, and 14 separate villages. The islanders exist in a truly barren landscape and run the cottage and tourist industries on the island.
Other residents meet each ferry with mini buses, horse drawn traps called haunting cars and rented bikes. Villagers knit the famed Aran sweater, and run the small craft stores and cafés all over the island. My great grandmother came from this place. Brigid Flaherty, left this other worldly place, this place of stones, to make a better world for herself.