Ever dream of escaping the rat race and living in perfect peace, at one with nature? Well, now is your chance!
If you’ve ever dreamt of living off the grid on a remote Irish island, then now’s your chance as High Island off the coast of County Galway is up for sale.
High Island, an 80-acre piece of land off the coast of Connemara in the West of Ireland, is up for grabs and at a substantial price of €1.25 million, it could be yours.
Also known as Ardoileán, the island is located around 3.5 km (2.2 miles) from the coastal town of Clifden and stretches 1.2 km (0.75 miles) long and 0.4 km (0.24 miles) wide.
Here is everything you need to know about the remote Irish island that is up for sale.
High Island – what to expect
The island is currently void of all human life, but with a septic tank installed and a high point of more than 63 meters above sea level, it has the potential to become home to anyone brave enough to brace a life on the Atlantic.
You would not be alone, however, on this island off County Galway. High Island is a haven for birds, with a number of species enjoying the lush green landscape.
But the winged residents haven’t always been the only sign of life on this hidden treasure.
History of High Island – a fascinating past
Ruins of an ancient monastery sit in a sheltered part of the Irish island, which is up for sale.
Found to the south-west of the plot and north of the larger of two freshwater lakes, it is thought to have been home to around 70 residents in the 7th-century.
It is believed the monastery was founded by Saint Féichín, more widely known as the founder of the Fore monastery in County Westmeath. Saint Féichín is thought to have died during the yellow plague in 665 BC and is remembered on January 20.
But Saint Féichín’s trail is only part of the rich archaeological history of this beautiful find. Artefacts suggest signs of habitation as far back as 300 BC, while pollen samples from the island’s stone beehive hut offer clues to occupants after 1,000 BC.
What would it be like to live there today? – wild Atlantic weather
So what would it take to live on High Island today? The icy spray of the Atlantic Ocean, not to mention biting winds and lots of rain, would make it no easy feat.
However, according to estate agent Luke Spencer of Spencer Auctioneers in Oughterard, there has been interest in the Irish island up for sale despite this.
In a statement to RTE news, he said they would allow anyone with financial means to view the island, “Be they Government, entrepreneurs, or someone famous,” while hinting that several enquires have already come from overseas.
He added that regular crossings by boat are not recommended and suggested a helicopter as the best mode of transport to and from the mainland.
Potential buyers – interested parties
The Department of Culture, Heritage, and the Gaeltacht refused to confirm any interest in buying the island but revealed that the monastery is protected by law.
Despite the fact that the Irish island is up for sale, any plans to develop on the island must be agreed upon by the Minister under the National Monuments Act.
It added that any of Ireland’s sites in State Care “command considerable resource commitments”, meaning the upkeep of High Island would require a strong personal and financial commitment from an investor.
Feichin Mulkerrin bought Ardoileán 30 years ago from the poet Richard Murphy. Despite inspiring many of his works, Murphy avoided long periods of time on the island and was later described as “neither a hermit nor a saint.”