What's it like to live on the Aran Islands?

Documentary On Newstalk takes a trip to Inis Oirr, the smallest of the Aran Islands, to explore the realities of island living in: ‘Another Way’


Another Way’ will be broadcast this weekend on Newstalk 106-108fm on Saturday May 27th 10pm with repeat broadcast on Sunday May 28th 8am

Another Way, tells the story of the unique community of 260 people living on Inis Oirr: a tiny rocky outcrop out in the Atlantic Ocean.

This story began with a currach race, a race that never happened. What unfolded instead is an insight into the reality of island life and how the islanders due to their environment have learned to overcome many challenges, from storms, to their services being under threat. What we hear from the islanders it that to live here, you must always be prepared to change your plans, and to see the beauty and freedom that this way of life can bring.

Quotes from ‘Another Way’:

“Closed, Island Power is out, Plan B, go to the beach, have a picnic, laugh, dance, enjoy your day.”

Sign on the door of Teach An Tea. 

“Nowadays they decide if they want to live on the Island, that is the decision they take, where as years ago you left and you went to work and maybe at the back of your mind you always thought I want to go back to Inis Oirr, how were you going to do that at a later stage?  It didn't always work out for people.”

Cathleen Ni Chonghaile

“I think it is fabulous that young people are coming back and they want to be here more so then anywhere else. They are part of the culture rather then being apart from the culture, so Inis Oirr is the place to be.”

Paddy Crowe

“There is a smallish problem, there is no electricity on the Island.”


“We were invited to go Living Community competition world wide competition, it was a big deal, and then to end up in China, and stand up with another 50 countries who were fighting for the same gold medal that we got, it was incredible, actually we got two gold medals, one as the best community of a population of up to 25’000 people, that was a gold medal to say you have a fantastic way of living.  The second gold medal was for the healthiest lifestyle in the World, that beat all categories of populations,  including cities with millions of people. So it was an incredible win.”

Paddy Crowe

“The land has been carved out of the rock, the resulting grassland vegetation is very species rich and within a European context it puts them very important, as a result they have been designated a special area of conservation.  The Islands contain maybe greater then 50% of the plant species of Ireland and if you take it that there is no woodland or bog, you maybe realize that they are very important genetic diversity spot for Ireland.  If we want to maintain Irelands plant genetics if we maintain the plants grown in the Aran Islands we are half way there.”

Patrick McGurn

Another Way’ will be broadcast on Newstalk 106-108fm on Saturday May 27th 10pm with repeat broadcast on Sunday May 28th 8am

LISTEN LIVE: ‘Another Way’ can also be listened to online at: www.newstalk.com

PODCAST: Podcast available at: www.newstalk.com/documentaryonnewstalk after the broadcast.

CREDITS: ‘Another Way’ was produced, presented and edited by Patricia Baker. Editing and final mix by Gerry Horan, Contact Studio.

‘Another Way’ was funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, with the Television License Fee