Sherkin Island, historically called Inisherkin (Irish: Inis Earcáin), lies on the Wild Atlantic Way in West Cork. It had a population of 106 people at the time of the 2006 Census, measures 3 miles long by 1.5 miles wide (5 km by 3 km). Sherkin once had a population of around 1,000, which started to decline during the Great Irish Famine in the mid-19th Century. Now the population is reduced and varies greatly between the summer and the winter months.
Heir Island or Hare Island, sometimes called Inishodriscol (Irish: Inis Uí Drisceoil, meaning "Ó Driscol's island") is an island that lies on the Wild Atlantic Way off the West Cork coastline. It has a year-round population of around 25-30. The island is 2.5 km long and 1.5 km wide. It is the fourth largest of Carbery's Hundred Isles, after Sherkin Island, Clear Island and Long Island. Over 200 species of wildflower grow on Heir Island. The island has many beaches, as well as cliffs on the most south-westerly point known as The Dún. The permanent population of Heir Island is only 25-30, but during summer months when the holiday homes are occupied the population increases to around 150.
Long Island (Irish: Inis Fada, meaning "long island"), is an island that lies on the Wild Atlantic Way, south of Schull in West Cork. It has a permanent population of no more than 10. The island is named for being 4.8 km long and only 0.8 km wide. The island’s most distinctive landmark is Copper Point lighthouse at its eastern end, marking the entrance to Schull Harbour. The population was recorded at over 300 inhabitants in the 1840's.
Clear Island or Cape Clear Island (officially known by its Irish name: Cléire, and sometimes also called Oileán Chléire) lies on the Wild Atlantic Way coastal route off the south west Cork coastline in Ireland. It is the southernmost inhabited part of the island of Ireland and has a population of over 100 people. Officially it is a Gaeltacht (Irish speaking area) and most inhabitants speak Irish and English. Its nearest neighbour is Sherkin Island, 2 km east of the island. The island is divided into east and west halves by an isthmus. Seals, basking sharks and dolphins are found in the surrounding water, while sea pinks and honeysuckle are common plants on the land. Cape Clear is home to a lighthouse and a bird observatory. Cape Clear is a prime bird watching destination and in certain times of the year is home to hundreds of species of migratory birds which are attracted to its climate, which is much milder than mainland Ireland's.
Dursey Island (Irish: Baoi Bhéarra or Oileán Baoi) lies at the southwestern tip of the Beara Peninsula, on the Wild Atlantic Way coastal route off the West Cork coastline. It is 6.5 km long and 1.5 km wide. The island is separated from the mainland by a narrow stretch of water called Dursey Sound which has a very strong tidal race, with a reef of rocks in the centre of the channel which is submerged at high tides. The island with only a handful of permanent wintertime residents is connected to the mainland by Ireland's only cable car. Dursey has no shops, pubs or restaurants. The population is about 6 to 8 people.
Whiddy Island (Irish: Oileán Faoide) is an island near the head of Bantry Bay on the Wild Atlantic Way in West Cork. It is approximately 5.6 km (3.5 mi) long and 2.4 km (1.5 mi) wide. The topography comprises gently-rolling glacial till, with relatively fertile soil. As late as 1880, it had a resident population of around 450, mainly engaged in fishing and small-scale farming. Historically, the island shared the strategic significance of Bantry Bay's deepwater anchorage. It possesses a fortified battery built by the British authorities in Napoleonic times, following the arrival of the French Armada in 1796. The island was briefly used as a United States air base during World War I and now has a large oil terminal.
Valentia Island (Irish: Dairbhre), also spelled Valencia Island, is one of Ireland's westernmost points, lying off the Iveragh Peninsula in the southwest of County Kerry, Ireland. It is part of the new Wild Atlantic Way coastal route. It is linked to the mainland by the Maurice O'Neill Memorial bridge at Portmagee, as well as by a car ferry which sails from Reenard Point to Knightstown, the island's main settlement. The permanent population of the island is 713 (CSO 2006), and the island is approximately 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) long by almost 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) wide. Valentia was the eastern terminus of the first commercially viable transatlantic telegraph cable. The first attempt in 1857 to land a cable from Ballycarbery Strand on the mainland just east of Valentia Island ended in disappointment. After subsequent failures of cables landed at Knightstown in 1858 and Foilhommerum Bay in 1865, the vast endeavor finally resulted in commercially viable transatlantic telegraph communications from Foilhommerum Bay to Heart's Content, Newfoundland in 1866. Transatlantic telegraph cables operated from Valentia Island for one hundred years, ending with Western Union International terminating its cable operations in 1966.
The Skellig Islands (Irish: Na Scealaga), once known as the Skellocks, are two small, steep, and rocky islands lying about 13 km west of Bolus Head on the Iveragh Peninsula in County Kerry, Ireland. They are an important point on the new Wild Atlantic Way coastal route. They are famous for their thriving gannet and puffin populations, and for an early Christian monastery that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The smaller island is Little Skellig (Sceilig Bheag in Irish). It is closed to the public, and holds Ireland's largest and the world's second-largest Northern Gannet colony, with almost 30,000 pairs. It is about 1.5 km eastnortheast of Great Skellig.
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.
The Blasket Islands (Na Blascaodaí in Irish) are a group of islands on the Wild Atlantic Way coastal route off the west coast of Kerry. They were inhabited until 1953 by a completely Irish-speaking population. The inhabitants were evacuated to the mainland on 17 November 1953. Many of the descendants currently live in the US and some former residents still live on the Dingle peninsula, within sight of their former home.
The Inishkea Islands (Irish: Inis Gé) are situated on the Wild Atlantic Way off the coast of the Mullet peninsula in Mayo. There are two main islands - Inishkea North and Inishkea South. These islands lie between Inishglora island to the north and Duvillaun island to the south. The islands are relatively low lying and are covered in machair. Fine white sand is found everywhere, often blown into drifts by the strong winds especially along the beach beside the harbour where it fills the houses of the abandoned village. The sea surrounding the islands is crystal clear. The inhabitants of both Inishkea North and South left the islands in the 1930s after most of their young men died at sea in a storm.