Arranmore (Irish: Árainn Mhór) is the largest inhabited island of County Donegal, and the second largest in all of Ireland, with a population of 514 in 2011. down from over 600 in 1996. The island on the Wild Atlantic Way coastal route is part of the Donegal Gaeltacht. Most of the population lives along the southern and eastern coast, where the main village, Leabgarrow (Irish: Leadhb Gharbh), is located. The island has been settled since 'pre-Celtic times', and the few remaining signs of early settlement include a promontory fort to the south of the island and shell middens dotted along the beaches. Its position near the Atlantic shipping lanes was exploited, with a coastguard station and a lighthouse positioned on the most north-westerly point, and a World War 2 monitoring post set up to look out for U-Boats. The island was the first offshore island in the Republic of Ireland to get electricity from the Rural Electrification Scheme, run by the E.S.B., in 1957, but was amongst the last places in the country to get universally reliable piped water (in 1973-75) and an automatic phone exchange (in 1986).
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