The inhabitants of Inishbiggle Island off the coast of County Mayo are hoping a cable-car to the mainland will alleviate the daily isolation they endure.
Other islands around the west coast of Ireland are far better served boasting licensed ferry services with regular links to the mainland. The only mode of transport available to the 60 inhabitants of Inishbiggle is a currach (a traditional Irish boat). This is frequently an unsuitable means of crossing the hazardous 500 metre channel to the mainland.
There are no amenities whatsoever on the island and resident Liz Calvey notes
We exist here, we don’t live, we have no social life whatsoever, mass on a Sunday is actually the only social occasion we have.
For the inhabitants a cable-car linking the island to the mainland will alleviate the isolation and could attract more residents and visitors to Inishbiggle. Padraig Calvey is convinced the proposed cable-car would bring immeasurable improvements to the quality of life on the island as you could
Come and go dry whenever you wanted.
In spite of making a big effort to relocate to the Island, if the cable-car is not constructed, Liz Calvey and her young family will have no choice but to move off the island, as they can no longer put up with the isolation.
There are currently only two young couples living on Inishbiggle and she fears that if the young people leave
Then the elderly people will be left, with nobody to look after them and time will take care of the rest.
A ‘Nationwide’ report by Tom Kelly broadcast on 13 December 1996