Ionad an Blascaoid

Kids in this house get a treat of Diet Coke twice a year.  On Christmas Day and on the day of the Summer Holidays from school … so today was the day.  They also get to decide where to  go and suprisingly they choose the same as last year … the Ionad an Blasocaid Centre in Dun Chaoin.  http://www.heritageireland.ie/en/blascaod/

So off we went with school firmly put behind us for a whole 10 weeks.  It took all of 30 seconds might I add ! The great Blasket Island Centre is on the Slea Head Drive out of Dingle in the village of Dunquin.  As they say around here, its below the road, tucked neatly into the landscape looking out at the Island.  For anyone with an ounce of history in them this place is a gem, copious amounts of information on island life.  A virtual tour of the island,  video snippets, a life size boat, a scene depicting the houses on the island, their wares, how they might have been furnished.  Audio clips and presentations galore.  I could stay there all day but the patience of youngest hero didn’t allow for it today.

The Blasket Islands have left us a wealth of knowledge in the form of Irish, Story, Literature, Song and a sense of what Ireland was like before the island was evacuated in November 1953.  We all know Peig and shudder when we hear her name and remember our school days !

Peig-Sayers

On entering the building you are taken immediately by the fabulous stained glass window.  This area also houses the reception and a small bookshop with a selection of Irish and English books on the Island.  There really is a lovely array of Children’s books here too.
Ionad BooksIonad Hall

Ionad Wall

As well as housing the museum and all its artefacts it also has a lovely restaurant/cafe known as An tIascaire where Dave and Chirsty will look after you really well.  A large open space with huge glass windows looking directly out at the island. Magnificent wall murals made from old fishing ropes,  a magnificent glass window looking out onto the Island and an area you can stroll around outside and admire the view.  Great for the kids to stretch the legs.  Panini’s, salads, wraps, light bites, sweet deserts and all things coffee (!) available for refuelling.  The cafe doesn’t take cards though so make sure you have cash in your pocket.  Myself and himself had to share a toastie ! Kids the love the place and the older one would stay there looking at old island life all day ! Where does he  get it from I wonder !

An tIascaire

An tIascaire restaurant with wall mural made from old fishing rope

ionad 2  Ionad 3

I haven’ been out on the island since before the lads were born and after this visit it’s back on the list.  I wonder would the boys make the transition from boat to Dinghy to get to the island pier and up the old slip.  They would I think.  Would my nerves hold out ?  Mmmmm – Questionable

I also spotted on my out that they have a new free App this year so I must check this out.  If you decide to call, tell them Elaine sent you !

Ionad 4

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