Inishdooey Island, three miles off the northern coast of Donegal, shows that you don’t need to be a celebrity to own a private island.
The original asking price for Inishdooey Island (Inis Dhubhnach) was around a million dollars, a bit steep for a location that can only be reached by boat or helicopter, and even then only in good weather. The owner has now reduced the price to £140, ooo, or about $230,000, depending on exchange rates. That price is practically a steal in today’s economy, especially when you consider that the island offers 94 acres of beautiful, unspoiled Irish land, the ruins of an ancient monastery and numerous caves to explore.
The island’s name comes from Saint Dubhthach, a 6th century saint who was the ninth Bishop of Armagh and allegedly the driving force behind the monastic settlement built on the island. Although Dubthach is referred to as saint in the Annals of the Four Masters, a medieval text of Irish history, his feast or veneration day is not noted and there is little information about his life. All that remains of the monks’ settlement on Inishdooey Island are the ruins of stone walls , a few small huts and a small stone church.
Inishdooey Island is part of a string of four islands called the Donegal Archipelago, which includes Tory Island, Inishboffin and Inishbeg. Here’s a video tour of Inishdooey Island via kayak–note how clear and blue the water is in some of the caves, almost like a Caribbean or Mediterranean island:
According to the island’s owner, Mark McClafferty, it will probably cost around $300,000 to build a home on Inishdooey, mostly because all the materials will have to be flown or ferried in to the island. National Parks and Wildlife Service Regional Manager, Dave Duggan, however, told the Donegal News that Inishdooey Island is best suited as a haven for nature conservation:
“From a nature conservation point of view it is a fine island.
“It is designated under a number of habitat directives – SAC, SPA – which would make the chance of getting planning permission to build on the island practically zero.”
Well, even if you can’t build on Inishdooey Island, you would have the satisfaction of knowing that your purchase was a positive step in preserving wild Ireland.
Plus, you could always lead nature tours of your very own Irish island!
For more photos of Inishdooey Island, see Roger Curry’s gallery of the island HERE.