The Aran Islands are a group of three islands off the west coast of Ireland, made up of Inishmore (also known as “Aranmor”; Inis Mór in Irish – meaning ‘big island‘); Inishmaan (Inis Meáin in Irish – meaning ‘middle island’; and Inisheer (Inis Thiar or Inis Oírr in Irish – with no translation for the latter half of the name.)
Below is the forward note by J.M. Synge and map drawing that appears in the original writings of The Aran Islands
The geography of the Aran Islands is very simple, yet it may need a word to itself. There are three islands: Aranmor, the north island, about 9 miles long; Inishmaan the middle island, about three miles and a half across, and nearly round in form; and the south island, Inishere – in Irish, east island – like the middle island but slightly smaller. They lie about thirty miles from Galway, up the center of the bay, but they are not far from the cliffs of County Clare, on the south, or the corner of Connemara on the north.
The Irish word for “stoney grounds” or “stepping stones”
Connemara (Conamara in Gaelic) is a region in County Galway, in the west of Ireland. It is the largest Gaeltacht (Irish speaking) area in the country.
Also known as a currach, is a small wooden boat, native to the west coast of Ireland.
Coins used in Great Britain in the 17th and 18th century.
An anglicsized version of the name “Mairtín.”
Poitín is a traditional Irish distilled beverage that dates back to the 6th century, with 40% – 60% ABV.
A shift is a smock or a type of women’s undergarment dress.
A traditional shoe, formerly made and worn on the Aran Islands, consisting of a single piece of untanned hide folded around the foot and stitched with twine or a leather strap.