Cill Éinne in Inis Mor will feature in next Wednesday’s Bailte series on TG4. In this series, Síle Nic Chonaonaigh visits townlands across the country, investigating the strong connections people have with their native places, through the culture, the ways of life, and the landscape.
In this week’s episode, she visits Inis Mór, on the Aran Islands. Tourism draws thousands here this year and in particular to Cill Rónáin, the largest village on the island. To the east of the island is Cill Éinne, an ancient townland with a proud history which received its names from the local saint Éinne. There are up to 50 houses in the townland, and 160 inhabitants.
The programme features Micheál Seoighe as they discuss the unique culture of the village and how Cill Éinne was once the administrative and commercial centre of the island, but since the foundation of the state the focal point of the island has moved to Cill Rónáin. Mícheál, a seasoned fisherman discusses the future of fishing for this island community.
The programme features Tigh Fitz, the only pub in the village until it closed its doors very recently. Penny Fitzpatrick explains its closure and the profound effect it has had on the village which resulted in locals no longer having a meeting and focal point.
Síle Nic Chonaonaigh travels down to the airstrip that is located in the Cill Éinne which serves the and hears from Mícheál Ó hIarnáin about locals concerns that the uncertainty surrounding the island’s air service is damaging the island’s future.
She also met with Sibeál Seoige about the huge changes she has seen in the village. Sibeál made the short half mile trip from neighbouring island Inis Meáin 60 years ago when she married a Cill Éinne man.
In recent years there has been a resurgence in handball playing among the youngsters of Cill Éínne. A local club has been set up and when this club travelled to the World Championships in Minnesota recentl, six of its members including Aisling Ní Mhaoileáin from Cill Éinne, came home with a haul of medals.
Bailte- Cill Éinne Inis Mór is broadcast on TG4 Wednesday 6th March 8.30pm on TG4 (It will be repeated on Saturday March 9 7.15pm )