The latest inhabitants of a Donegal island hope to establish a community that will live in tune with nature.

Inishfree off the coast of Burtonport in County Donegal is now home to a group known as The Cartwheelers. 

Englishman and member of the Cartwheel group Gary Wilson explains

The Cartwheelers is a group that came together to set up a community scale village with a different outlook to looking after the earth rather than sort of tearing it to bits you know and living in tune with nature.

Gary and Eleanor Wilson are the only Cartwheelers to brave the winter months on Inishfree. Since arriving on the island a year ago, the pair have planted over five hundred trees and have worked the land to produce an impressive array of crops. 

The Wilson's cottage is just a ten-minute walk to the Screamers cottages known as Atlantis. However, Gary describes their relationship with their neighbours as "up and down" saying that the Cartwheelers and the Screamers are on different wavelengths. 

Fifty years ago, Inishfree had more than a hundred inhabitants. However, the island stock is now reduced to just two elderly brothers who are planning to leave the island shortly. The remaining population consists of the Cartwheelers, the Screamers, an English couple and a French fisherman. 

Soon the sole occupants of this once Irish-speaking, busy island may be a handful of foreigners.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 4 January 1983. The reporter is Tommie Gorman.