Newsbeat investigates the controversy that exists between the residents of Westport, county Mayo and the hippies living on Dorinish Island in Clew Bay.

Hippies, Yippies, Drop-outs or whatever, they've rejected your world and mine and here on this cold and windswept chunk of land, they plan to set up their alternative society.

Three men have recently arrived on Dorinish Island to set up their own new world.  Leader of the group, Sid Rawle, explains how they plan to set up a tribal community, where people can come to try out an alternative way of living, explaining,

We don't want any of the paraphernalia or claptrap of 20th century society... but at the same time peaceful, loving communities.

While twenty people lived this alternative way of life throughout the summer months, only three remain and they are determined to demonstrate that this a feasible, alternative way of life. They are spending their time building teepee tents in preparation for an influx of hippies the following summer. 

On the mainland in Westport, the presence of the hippies is viewed by many as a threat to the traditional way of life with local resident Ceura Alger describing the hippies as 

A very bad influence on our youth.

An anti-hippie organisation has been set up in Westport with the support of many local residents and groups, and they want the hippies off the island. 

Mrs Alger also comments that

The only thing to have lived on Dorinish for a great many years now are the rats.

The hippie commune ran into trouble in the past when they planned to set up on Saint Patrick's Island off Skerries in county Dublin. The plan was abandoned as a result of local opposition. 

A Newsbeat report by Michael Ryan broadcast on 7 January 1971.

The track accompanying this clip is 'New World in the Morning' by Roger Whittaker.