Situated a short distance off the Claddaghduff coast High Isand is a mysterious and seriously inaccessible Island steeped in history. As its name suggests it is surrounded by cliffs and there is only a small and difficult landing place at the east end. It is said to be the home of St Fechin who lived there in the 7th century. As a secure refuge it was occupied as a monastic settlement from the 10th to the 12th century. Relics from St Fechin can be found in the area in the form of holy wells and a Church on Omey Island.
A visit to High Island is a rare and interesting opportunity to step back in time. The weather, the lack of a proper harbour and difficult access up the cliff face mean that it is seldom possible to visit. When a friend Dierdre Kato told me she had visited the Island I begged her to let me add them to our blog, and share a glimpse of this unique place.
A view over the settlement and lake on the Island.
The tiny harbour is unusable if there is any wind or swell.
It may have been occupied as early as 1000BC, and archaeological work has been carried out to try and unlock the Islands secrets. These are photos of the beehive dwellings that were part of the monastic settlement.
These are some of the best photos I have seen of the buildings and views on High Island.
A rough stone cross marks a monks grave on the Island.
A beehive dwelling characteristic of the Island.
There are locally orgaised trips to the Island as far as I am aware, and I am looking in to more details
Images used with permission and are copyright to Dierdre Kato 2022.