Tearaght Island Nature Reserve, Dingle Peninsula, Kerry

  • Author:ActiveME
  • Created: August 28, 2012
  • Updated: December 12, 2017
Location: Kerry
  • DistanceInstructions
  • Distance4.50 km
  • Time0 s
  • Speed0.0 km/h
  • Min altitude0 m
  • Peak50 m
  • Climb212 m
  • Descent210 m
This reserve is of international importance because of the large colonies of seabirds it supports. A marine reserve has been established on the surrounding area of sea and seashore to ensure the protection of the birds and control activities that might cause disturbance
Like the other Blasket Islands, an Tiaracht holds large numbers of seabirds, with internationally important populations of Manx shearwater and European storm-petrel. Leach's storm-petrels have also been found there (but not proved to be breeding) in recent years. The number of auks, especially puffins, has apparently fluctuated greatly, though early records are not always reliable.

Tearaght Island or Inishtearaght is an uninhabited steep rocky island west of the Dingle Peninsula. At longitude 10° 39.7' Tearaght is the westernmost of the Blasket Islands, and thus the westernmost island in both Ireland and the British Isles. However, there are some exposed rocks further west: Tearaght Rocks, Tearaght Rocks West (10° 41.0'), and Foze Rocks (10° 41.3').

An Tiaracht is about a kilometre from east to west, and 500 metres from north to south. The island is divided into two sections, a larger eastern part (200 metres high) and a western part that rises to 116 metres. A narrow neck of rock, with a natural tunnel through it, joins the two parts. An Tiaracht is the 1045th highest summit in Ireland.

It has the westernmost building in Europe. The lighthouse was established on the island in 1870, and automated in 1988. The lighthouse, maintained by the Commissioners of Irish Lights, is 84 metres above high water. Public access to the island is not possible and only done via the Commissioner of Irish Lights