The 22 acre island of Dalkey lies less than 300 metres off the south Dublin coastline near the village of Dalkey. It gets it’s name from a meld of the Irish deilg (“thorn”) and the Old Norse øy (“island”). Although the island is currently uninhabited (except for wild goat), the remains of houses, a church and the Martello Tower still exist. There is evidence that it was inhabited nearly 6,000 years ago (4000 BC) and this continued right through to the Iron age (500 b.c – 500 a.d.). There are also the remains of a promontory fort, a 7th century church named after St Begnet and a Martello tower and gun battery built in 1804. The Vikings used used the island as a base around 800 a.d and it was probably part of the busiest port in the country at that time. The channel between the island and the mainland is very deep, has strong tidal currents and is treacherous for swimming. It has recently been discovered that this area may not only be rich in pop stars and entrepreneurs but may also have rich oil deposits off the coastline. Opposition from the country’s most affluent neighbours have presently halted this as this stunning area also has wonderful sea life including pods of Bottlenose dolphins and a colony of seals.

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