Rutland Island (Inis Mhic an Doirn) is situated about half a mile from Burtonport Harbour in the parish of The Rosses in West Donegal.
Burtonport a small fishing village nestled on the extreme northwest coast of Ireland in the county of Donegal, with a population of about 1100 people. The village derived its name from a wealthy English landowner of the time, Lord Burton Conynham. He established a jetty and a few other amenities at the location and called it "Burtons Port", hence the name "Burtonport". There are a large number of islands off the northwest coast. Rutland, Arranmore, Innishfree to name but a few. Arranmore being the larger of these islands with a population of about 800 people and has a daily ferry service to and from the island from Burtonport.
In years gone by the road structure as we know it to-day was literary non-existent and the main access point to the area was by sea. The main landing point was at Rutland Island which is just opposite Burtonport.
Rutland then was the main port of call to the area and at the time it was a flourishing commercial centre where a colony of English settlers had been established on it after the plantation of Ulster in 1609.
Today the island is enjoying a new lease of life. The island population consists mainly of original islanders and their families, many of whom have recently renovated their homesteads, and visitors to the holiday homes on the island.
It holds memories of many historic events such as the landing of Napper Tandy and the French forces at the beginning of the 1798 rising. Up until recent years Burtonport was a thriving fishing port, however due to the decline in fish stocks over the years the harbour area is now being developed towards the tourist industry with amenities for the small pleasure craft. A recent development of a wind farm across from the harbour has added a new dimension to the landscape.