13 Jan 2022
Following a major upgrade, the stunning Blasket Centre, situated on a clifftop at the tip of the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry, is set to reopen early in 2022.
The striking building, occupying a spectacular site on the Wild Atlantic Way, offers amazing vistas from the most westerly point of the rugged Dingle Peninsula, Ireland and Europe to the celebrated Blasket Islands.
Known as Ionad an Bhlascaoid in the Irish language, the centre celebrates the literature, culture and community of the Blaskets, a group of six islands located off the coast of County Kerry which have long been regarded as a major well-spring of Irish culture.
Located in the heart of a Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking area), the Blasket Centre honours the island community, details their struggle for existence, and highlights their language and culture, including the extraordinary literary legacy they left behind.
In the early years of the twentieth century, scholars visited Great Blasket to learn Irish and collect folklore. They encouraged the islanders to write their life stories in their native tongue, and the books they wrote give a unique insight into the hardship of island life.
The three best known island books are The Islandman by Tomás Ó Criomhthain, Twenty Years A-Growing by Muiris Ó Súilleabháin and Peig by Peig Sayers, which became a set text in Irish schools.
A glimpse into the Blasket Centre
A variety of exhibitions, interactive displays, artefacts, audio-visual presentations and artworks in the centre tell the story of Blasket Island life, subsistence fishing, farming, and a traditional way of life including the modes of work and transport, home life, housing and entertainment.
There is also a fascinating audio-visual presentation and a series of imaginative exhibits on various aspects of the history and culture of Great Blasket.
With a restaurant, services and ample parking on site, the Blasket Centre is wonderful place to spend a morning or afternoon.
Great Blasket Island is visible from the centre, and in the summer months tours of the deserted village on the island are available.
Last year the Blasket Centre’s clifftop site saw the opening of a new Wild Atlantic Way Viewing Point.
Accessible to people of all ages and abilities and free of charge, it creates a focal point for travellers on the beautiful Dingle Peninsula and Wild Atlantic Way, allowing them to slow down, stop and safely experience the views of the Blasket Islands.
The Viewing Point and major upgrade to the Blasket Centre form part of an overall investment project in the area that will eventually include the restoration of the original house belonging Tomás Ó Criomhthain on Great Blasket Island.
View from the Shoreline
The Blasket Centre
Need more resources? View our images and videos from across Ireland