Bere Island or Bear Island (Irish: Oiléan Béarra, meaning "bear island", although officially called An tOileán Mór meaning "the big island") is an island on the Wild Atlantic Way coastal route off the west coast of Cork. The current population is approximately 200, but the past population was significantly higher. At the time of the 1841 census the population was 2,122 but by the 1851 census the population had decreased to 1,454 due to the great famine. The population decline continued in line with the national trend for emigration throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.Unlike many of the other islands off the Irish coast, the inhabitants of Bere Island are now native speakers of English. Irish ceased to be the spoken language of the majority of the native islanders between 1880 and 1885.
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