Rathlin Island off the Antrim coast is struggling to provide work and social outlets for the younger generation of islanders.

A reminder of the challenges of living on an island is the journey by boat from the mainland. A motor boat brings post to the island three days a week if the weather is favourable. The stretch of water between Antrim and Rathlin is open to the heavy swells of the north Atlantic. The island now knows boating tragedies, the worst being the death of 23 men when the SS Lochgarry struck rocks in 1942.

The population of Rathlin continues to decline hundred years ago, a thousand people lived on the island. Now there are only one hundred and thirty.  Those who remain farm the land, no easy task, for an island described as

Áit gan fothain gan foscadh...

One older resident of Rathlin Island says, 

There's nothing that will entice young ones to stay.

Younger people on the island are of the view that the island holds no future for them. One young man who plans to leave says

There's no future here for young people. No jobs and very little entertainment.

Another young man, who left the island two and a half years ago and is only back on holiday says there is no way he would return to the island to live. 

I don't like it at all. Not even to come home on a holiday.

A couple of dances a week, the pictures on a Sunday and television are not enough to tempt him to stay on Rathlin. 

This episode of 'Féach' was broadcast on 6 October 1968. The reporter is Diarmaid Ó Muirithe. 

This report is in both Irish and English.