Recalling the heritage of the Blaskets fifty years after the final inhabitants left the islands.

In 1953, the last residents of the Great Blasket island in West Kerry were evacuated from the island leaving their homes behind to begin new lives on the mainland and overseas.

Their legacy remains on in their stories. Some of the most important works of Irish folklore were written by Blasket Islanders, and offer a window into Irish island life as it was lived for generations.

Hundreds of people visit the now deserted Great Blasket every summer. Life on the rugged, windswept island was anything but romantic with no school or doctor. Fifty years ago today the remaining inhabitants left the island and their homes for good.. 

The Blaskets is famed for having produced many writers who have documented what island life was like. Books including An tOileánach by Tomás Ó Criomhthain, Fiche Blian ag Fás by Muiris Ó Suúilleabháin, and the most well known book 'Peig' by Peig Sayers, each tell the story of a way of life which is now long gone. 

Some of the islanders settled in Dun Chaoin or in other places on the Dingle peninsula, while others emigrated. 

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 17 November 2003. The reporter is Sinéad Crowley.