Tory is the most remote of Ireland’s inhabited islands, lying twelve kilometres off the coast of Donegal. It is part of the tourist initiative “The Wild Atlantic Way,” offering visitors stunning walks, diving, fishing, bird watching, historical sites, Irish culture and a very warm welcome.
A ferry leaves for the island from Magheraroarty pier, a little north of Cnoc Fola .
The Pier at Magheraroarty
Last week, I returned to Tory after an absence of fifteen years – way too long! I made good use of my camera throughout my mini vacation, and created a little slideshow of my journey along the pier:
The ferry set sail across incredibly calm waters, allowing me to sit outside on deck throughout the trip. Looking back towards the mainland, the flat top of Muckish Mountain stood out in the distance. You can see Muckish more clearly in last week’s post The Happy Camper.
We sailed on past the islands of Inishbofin, Inishdooey and Inishbeg.
I felt a great sense of well being, watching the waves and breathing in the fresh sea air. Tory Island grew more visible with barely a cloud in the sky. The song “Perfect Day” began to hum in my mind…
I filmed the journey into the shelter of the harbour, capturing some precious moments in time.
A number of Irish islands had a tradition of appointing island kings; Tory is the only island to continue this tradition. Patsy Dan Rodgers has been King of Tory since 1993. He takes a very active role in promoting the island and greets visitors on the pier.
After a royal welcome, I made my way to overnight lodgings with Eilis and Eamon Rodgers, whose home overlooks the harbour. I felt like I was staying with friends, and enjoyed a lovely cup of al fresco tea, before setting off on foot to explore the west side of the island.
I learned that Eilis’s father Padraig Og Rodgers was the previous King of Tory; he died in 1989. She gave me permission to share his photograph:
Irish is the first language on the island. The harbour and my accommodation was situated in West Town An Baile Thiar.
Visitors can stay overnight in a number of other bed and breakfast guesthouses, apartments, a hostel or the island’s hotel.
I will share my photographs of a walk to Tory Lighthouse and some dramatic clifftop scenery in next Friday’s post.
Brigid P. Gallagher
Memoir: ” Watching the Daisies – Life Lessons on the Importance of Slow” is available from Amazon and all good online bookstores.
Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/r5GCjaetgZk