The Vikings, a parish church & large bird colonies

Ireland’s Eye lies off the coast north of Howth Harbour in north co. Dublin. In pre-Christian times it was called Eria’s Island and the Vikings substituted the word Island with Ey (their Norse equivalent) and so it became known as Erin’s Ey and ultimately Ireland’s Eye. It’s most spectacular feature is the huge freestanding rock called “the Stack”, at the northeastern corner of the island. The ruins of a Martello tower and an 8th-century church (the Church of the Three Sons of Nessan) are the only signs of previous habitation. The church functioned as a parish church for Howth until recent centuries, eventually being replaced by a church in the village due to the limitations of having to take a boat for every service. The island is also a sea-bird sanctuary and one can spot thousands of guillemots, razorbills, fulmars, gulls, gannets, cormorants, and even the odd puffin. Grey Seals are also abundant in the sea around the island. It can be reached by boat during the summer months from the East Pier of Howth Harbour.