Project Description

Everyone in Ireland says they live on an island. But for the people of Cape Clear and Inis Meáin, this claim has a very different meaning.

RTÉ’s new four part series, Ar an Oileán, which begins on Monday the 12th of November at 7.30pm on RTÉ One, will explore as Gaeilge what it means to live on a REAL island; the difficulties, the inevitable heartaches but also the beauty and the sense of community that only island life can offer.

Filmed over the course of a year on the stunningly beautiful islands of Cape Clear off the south west coast of Cork and Inis Meáin, the middle of the Aran Islands, the series will offer a fresh perspective on the extraordinary everyday lives of those who live there.

In the context of ever-dwindling populations of all of Ireland’s islands, the series is a fascinating insight into REAL life there beyond the mainland. Despite the difficulties, the people of these islands and the ‘blow ins’ are determined that their home will not go the way of the Blaskets and others before them.

The story is told by the islanders themselves, like Máirtín Ó Méalóid, who waves goodbye to his children for a week at the pier every Monday as they go to school on the mainland and Steve Wing, the English born manager of the world famous Bird Observatory on Cape Clear. Gabriel and Sarah Casey moved to Inis Meáin from Clare with their two daughters to immerse themselves in the Irish language and culture, and Niamh Ní Dhrisceoil is a young teacher in her twenties who commutes every week from Cape Clear to Ballincollig where she teaches. They are joined by their neighbours and friends who opened their extraordinary lives to the cameras for a year.
Why do they do dedicate their lives their island? And can they succeed in building a sustainable way of life on the islands for the generations that come after them?