Four times a week the postman crosses to Owey Island by boat from mainland Donegal to deliver the mail to the few who remain living there.

Single handed in a currach, postman Neil McGonagle visits the dwindling population on Owey Island to maintain the island’s contact with the outside world.

Getting ashore at Owey is particularly difficult as Neil must land on slippy flags and rocks. He used to make the journey using a paddle, but for the last 12 years he has been assisted by an outboard motor.

Born on the island the house Neil McGonaglehe grew up in and more than half of the houses on the island are empty and boarded up. The one-room schoolhouse closed in 1971 but Neil recalls the time when it was thriving and there were enough children attending to have two eleven a side football teams.

The post office where Neil sorts the mail is one of the few remaining signs of life on the island, but he can see there will soon be no need for a postman.

The young people are all leaving; there are some old people that won’t leave, that would rather stay on.

But Neil reckons eventually the old people will have no option but to move to the Donegal mainland. The last two families, the McGonagles and the O’Donnells left Owey in 1977.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 19 February 1973. The reporter is Cathal O'Shannon.