Inishturk is an island off the west coast of Ireland, west of Killary Harbour and at the joint of the counties Galway and Mayo. It is a world apart from the hustle and bustle of city life; the many sail boats and tractors reflect the true pace of life. With little mobile or internet coverage, transport or supplies, it is a perfect place to get away from it all. There are beautful views all around the island: of the mountains on the mainland, the nearby islands and north towards Clew Bay. The diving is plentiful and superb. With kelp often growing up to twenty metres down, the diving is mostly sports diver diving in the 25m -35m range, though it looks like there’s potential for deeper diving. It’s all round good, clear water, lots of life and spectacular walls, gullies and pinacles. Since you need to get a ferry from Roonagh to get to Inishturk going for a bank holiday rather than a weekend is a good idea! It’s probably one of the smallest island communities and it’s a really great place to visit.
September 2013 is the first year that we’ve been to Inishturk organised by Donna Lee. We dived off John McCabe’s hardboat 087 2227098 or http://www.islandswest.ie/ John gave us a great deal and provided cylinders, fills and weights and weight belts. John also provided extra fills for night dives at no extra cost. He’s very flexible and makes everything nice and easy!
We did chartered hardboat diving through John McCabe. It might be possible to get the club boats out to it but getting the compressors out there is a bit of a problem. John can bring out 12 divers.
The area is not very tidal for the most part and we dived at random stages of the tide.
The water is usually very clear at any of these sites. Visibility can be more than twenty metres. We did 3 dives on the east side, one was in a gully if you go right out of the harbour (a gurnard and a john dory were spotted!!). One dive was left out of the harbour and was mainly boulders. The last was on the east side of Caher island, again bouldery.
Inishturk is like Inishbofin and in fact like the entire west coast – it’s not great if there are westerlies or swell. It looked like there were really nice dives on the west side of the island which we couldn’t do because of the weather.
You will probably need to bring your own O2 and possibly 1st Aid Kit. Useful numbers:
- Clifden Coast Guard Radio
- VHF channels 16, 67, 26, DSC 70
- Recompression chamber
- Galway, 091 524 222
There is no diving shop on the island, there isn’t really any sort of shop to be honest! Bring lots of spares. Not much fun being stuck on an island with a damaged drysuit! We left bottles and gear on the pier.
In September 2013 we rented a 4 bedroom house that has 10beds (3 doubles) from Gus O’Toole 0868393080. He’s really nice and brought our stuff up to the house and was generally very helpful. One of the doubles is a bit of a squeeze, probably best for couples or very good friends. Gus is also a diver so he might be good if you’re looking for info on sites. It was a great house only 20mins max to the pier and had 2 toilets and 1 electric shower, 1 immersion shower. We booked in around July for September but if you wanted a bank holiday during the summer months you might want to call him around Christmas time.
There’s one other house for rent on the island, Gus might know how to get in contact with who owns it if you want another house.
The island website has links for B&Bs:
You can buy milk in the shop, but it’s not open all day. It’s best to bring the rest yourself as there’s little to buy on the island. Bring enough cash to last the week too.
There are several beautiful beaches around the island. There’s a pub on the island and a community centre where you can get dinner for a tenner I think – ask Gus about this.
You can get more information about the island from the website:
Leave Dublin down the quays and out via Heuston Station. Take the road to Westport. Once in Westport go to Louisburg. Then there are signs for Roonagh pier. It’s about a 4 hr drive.
There are ferry times on http://www.inishturkisland.com/?pagid=home under ‘Ferries’.