Inishfree ( Inis Fraoigh ) is a tiny island, just one mile square. Like many irish islands, it has a long history of human settlement. In Early Christian times it was controlled by Niall of the Nine hostages, a local chieftain who became High King of Ireland. In the late medieval period, it was held by his descendants, the clan of Red Hugh O'Donnell, who led the last stand against England's conquest of Ulster. Their lands were redistributed in the Plantation years.
In the early 20th century Inishfree island was home to a tightly-knit community of 36 families who lived in a number of 'clachans' or clustered settlements of small cottages, complete with school and post office, at Fartown. Two famous Irish authors, Peadar O'Donnell and Séamus Ó Grianna, taught in the school in the 1910s.
But then the island fell on hard times, and the mid-1970s saw the sad exodus of the islanders to the mainland. A commune called Atlantis, known as the 'Screamers,' took up residence in 1972 and remained until 1991.
Gradually, since 1991, Inis Fraoigh is being reexhibited by former islanders, descendants and some mainlanders keen to live closer to nature. The island's new residents are eager to help visitors make the most of their trip and experience the spiritual atmosphere that seems to pervade this unique place. A special welcome awaits you on Inishfree Island.