This group, the most westerly off the Irish coast, comprises 7 sizeable islands and isolated rocks spread in a line west by south over 2½ miles of the Atlantic, the largest (Great Blasket) 2 miles off shore.
Antiquities of the early Christian period include oratories, crosses and "beehive" cells on Inis Mhicile?in and Inis Tuaisceart, and church ruins on the Great Blasket.
The economy of the islands, based mainly on fishing with some farming, in 1839 supported 13 families - Great Blasket (10), Inis Mhicile?in (2) and Inis Tuaisceart(1). In 1953-54, principally owing to successive bad fishing seasons, the islanders removed to new homes on the mainland.
In the present century members of this small, Irish-speaking community produced such best-sellers as "Peig" (Sayers) and works by O'Sullivan and O'Griffan known in English translations as "Twenty Years Agrowing" and "The Islander".
Access is by boat from Dunquin pier.