By Crystal Chung @crystalkchung
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Photographer, Michelle McCarron, originally from Monaghan, Ireland but now based in the US, spent a few days exploring the island of Inishturk capturing its rugged beauty and natural way of life.
With only 58 full-time residents, Inishturk, which sits nine miles off the coast of County Mayo, made headlines last year after offering refuge to Americans considering leaving the country after Donald Trump was elected President.
McCarron, a dual citizen of the United States said: “Life on Inishturk is bliss if you love nature, appreciate peace and quiet interspersed with great chat, people, the 'craic' and the sounds of the wind and the ocean.
“Life on Ireland's islands is very unique and there is a calmness that envelopes one as soon as you step ashore any one of them.
“With increasing tourism and people trying to escape the cities they are becoming busier, and overrun with tourism infrastructure, which can obliterate local culture.
"Inishturk has managed to maintain its character, its population and protect its environment.”
Inishturk, which translates as ‘Island of the Wild Boar’ sits atop cliffs and steep hills that drop down to the Atlantic.
Only 5km by 2.5km in size, the island is rich in archaeological sites and has been inhabited on and off since 4000 BC.
For photographer Michelle, this was her second visit as she wanted to capture the traditional way of life on an Irish island.
She said: “I'm interested in the places where people choose to live close to the earth, taking sustainably from the resources around them and limiting their dependance on technology as a way of life."
Staying in a B&B with a local couple, Michelle was able to live island life first hand as she accompanied her host Phylomena to a community meeting and spent a day fishing with host and fishermen, Bernard.
Michelle said: “Fishing is a big part of life on the island. Many of the men are fishermen for crab and lobster that is exported to the restaurants of Ireland's main cities and as far away as France. The islanders are known for their sea faring skills and their connection to the sea is very much part of their identity.
“Inishturk people are some of the most open and genuine individuals I have ever met. As a stranger coming ashore I felt very much welcomed and the enthusiasm of the locals to show me their island was always present.”