Scattery Island

This digital archive is a history of Scattery Island or Inis Cathaigh as it is also known. The island sits snugly on the Shannon Estuary approx 2km from the town of Kilrush and because of its setting has experienced and seen much of Ireland’s history up close. In the 6th century,  Senan a local monk returned from Europe and set up a monastery on the island, it was later invaded by the Vikings who were pursued in the 10th Century by Brian Boru.  The monastery was disbanded in the reformation era and later became a garrison for the British who feared the French and Spanish.  The Spanish did visit the island when retreating from the English in 1588.  The last settlement of people came to the island in the mid-nineteenth century and although the island is now uninhabited, their descendants still live in the surrounding mainland.  The island is now managed by the Office of Public Works (OPW).

About us

This digital archive is created and maintained by a group of volunteers, from The Scattery Island Heritage Group (SIHG), working in partnership with and supported by the Irish Community Archive Network (iCAN).This is a partnership initiative between the National Museum of Ireland,and Clare County Council Heritage Office, which provides professional supports to local groups collecting, preserving and sharing their local history and heritage online.

Scattery Island Heritage Group was founded in 2012 by Rita McCarthy and a group of local history & tourism students, based at Kilrush VEC. The group visited Scattery Island, and felt that its rich and varied history, its natural and built heritage needed preservation and wider recognition. The group liaised with the OPW to this end and acted as off season guides in 2012.Following this, the group opened membership to the wider West Clare community and set out their stall to put Scattery Island/Inis Cathaigh firmly on the map.

One of SIHG’s first achievements was to host a Gathering event on the Island in 2013, which brought record numbers of visitors to the Island, on a glorious weekend in July, including the families of former residents of Scattery Island. The group also secured funding from the University of Limerick to produce a photographic exhibition which included archived photographs from Clare County Council, and ran a second very successful event in July 2014, to commemorate Brian Boru and his links to Inis Cathaigh.

Other achievements to date include:

  • Securing funding for a habitat management plan from the Heritage Council in 2014.
  • The production of a radio documentary on the history of the Island in 2015 by Rita McCarthy, broadcast by Clare FM, and still available online.
  • Under the guidance and chairmanship of Diarmuid Whelan and in consultation with relevant bodies, the group cleared the Napoleonic Battery site on the Island.
  • In 2017 the group were winners of the prestigious EDEN award for Scattery Island.

Scattery Island Heritage group continues to work hard to preserve and promote the history and heritage of Inis Cathaigh/Scattery Island, with the wider community, partnership agencies and in collaboration with relevant organisations. Currently, SIHG is delighted to be managing this website, and hope that it becomes a rich source of Island history, stories, photographs and helps to preserve and honour the “living history” of Inis Cathaigh/Scattery Island and its people.

Contributing Stories to the site

We would love to hear from you! You can add a comment about anything on the website by clicking on the ‘Add a comment’ link at the bottom of each page. You can also submit your own photos, stories or information to the site by using our contribution form. Contact us if you have any queries by selecting the contact us tab. Help us keep this website alive and honour the story of this beautiful Island- A place Apart.

Comments about this page

  • A great resource for Scattery Island. It was lovely to see it on an episode of Nationwide as well. Looking forward to meeting up with you guys at the next heritage event / meeting

    By Pauline, Milltown Heritage, Galway (06/03/2020)

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