The island of Inishbofin in county Donegal was once a thriving community with its own school, town hall and church. Now only five people, two women and three men remain on the island during the harsh winter months.
Doireann Ní Bhriain speaks with five women from the island, Margaret McFadden, Mary Ellen Collum, Grace McGee, Madge McGinley and Grace O’Brien about their lives on the island and their hopes for the future of Inishbofin.
The women would like to see the island revived and believe the government needs to provide services such as electricity and other facilities enjoyed by other islands around the coast of Ireland. Under such circumstances, young people would be inclined to move back to the island and avail of the many advantages of island life.
The women reminisce about dances that used to take place on the island and about growing up in a place where everybody knows what everyone else is doing.
Maggie never married but does not regard this as an issue. When she was young she worked hard and helped her mother to raise her siblings. Landing the turf from the mainland was her main worry. She thought of marrying, but when she had the chance it was too late.
A ‘Women’s Programme’ report broadcast on 21 February 1986. The reporter is Doireann Ní Bhriain.