Among the Rocks

oil on linen, 70 x 100 cms © Fergus A Ryan 2022

Private Collection


Inishvickillaun (or -illane) is one of the Blasket Islands off the western tip of the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry. Red deer were introduced to the island in 1980, and the island hosts some early Christian ruins, including a well dedicated to St Brendan the Navigator. Apart from the rocky island of Tearaght or Tiaracht and some smaller sea rocks, Inishvickillaun is the westernmost territory of Ireland, and hence of the European continent.

What does the name mean? 'Inis' is the Irish word for island, Vick is the anglicised version of Mhic, the genetive of Mac (of the son of), and Killane is a person's name. So Inishvickillane (or -aun) means MacKillane’s island. There are other interpretations of the origin of the island's name.