Training Activity: Environmental & Field Biology Course - Golden Jubilee Celebrations

Submitted by admin on Mon, 04/14/2014 - 23:04
Inis Meain landscape
Start Date
End Date
Inis Meáin Island, Aran Islands, Co. Clare

As part of the celebration of its Golden Jubilee the IBIOLI invites its members, families, friends and general public to Inis Meáin (Inishmaan), Aran for an Environmental and Field Biology Course. The Course will be facilitated by Institute of Biology of Ireland member Dr Con O’Rourke (Ex Teagasc). This course, involving a blend of Gaeilge and English, will be conducted in the outdoor natural environment taking in various sites of historical, geological, cultural, natural science and general environmental interests; please come prepared for the vagrancies of island weather (waterproof clothing), and walking over the island terrain of limestone pavements, pathways and narrow roads (comfortable clothes and walking gear). 

Make this a weekend to remember. Travel to the Island on Friday evening and be ready to join us on the field course at 10.30am on Saturday. This Course may also follow onto Sunday 15th.

*Should the course be over subscribed for the Saturday (we can cater for maximum of 40 on the day), we will re-run the course on Sunday, same time, and same location. In the below Reply Form, please indicate if you are willing to be assigned to Sunday should that situation arise. We will do our best to please everyone, but reserve the right to re-assign, should the need arise.

Participants meet at the Church. The course is free to IBIOLI members. However, a small contribution of €5 for non-members will be collected on the day.

About the Faciliator:

Dr O’Rourke has a very long association with the study of the natural and man-made resources of the Aran Islands. He is a widely published scientist and in recent years has published Nature Guide to the Aran Islands (Lilliput Press, 2006), and Dúlra Oileáin Arann (Cois Life, 2011); both publications were supported by the Institute of Biology of Ireland.

About Inishmaan:

Inishmaan, or Inis Meáin, is Aran’s Middle Island. It is the quietest of the three Aran Islands and a place to escape the crowds. A maze of narrow winding roads, sheltered paths and trails criss-cross the island, from the rocky hillsides of the south to the deserted sandy beaches on the north shore. Wild flowers bloom everywhere and numerous examples of early settlements dot the limestone karst landscape.  The incredible oval fort of Dún Chonchúir can be found here and so too are the beautiful Cill Cheanainn and the church of Mary Immaculate with its magnificent stained glass windows by the famed Harry Clarke Studios. Nearby is Teach Synge, the restored island cottage of writer John Millington Synge, for whom the island was a favourite retreat. Inishmaan, island hosts a centre, running renowned Irish language and culture courses, where you can learn about the history and traditions of the island from music and poetry to set dancing and ecology. It is also home to the award winning Inis Meáin restaurant and guest suites. Drop in for an extraordinary dining experience. The main ingredients used in this restaurant are sourced on the island itself, including lobster and crab caught by local fishermen from currachs, the traditional island fishing boats.

Reply Form:

Please email us at or phone Frank McGourty on 087 283 2787 by 2pm Tuesday (June 3rd) with the information sought below

The information required is:

  • Name (for contact only):
  • Email address: 
  • Mobile number (optional):
  • 2014 IBIOLI membership number:                       
  • Non-member of IBIOLI: 
  • Willing to take course on Sunday, if over subscribed on Saturday: 
  • Dinner, Wilma’s restaurant, Saturday night:     
  • Choice: Chicken/Fish

If accompanied by a spouse, partner, friend, etc., just add in the total numbers

  • Participating in the course
  • availing of dinner at Wilma’s on Saturday night
  • diner’s choices (fish or chicken) at Wilma’s (numbers of each).

Indicate any other dietary requirements of you or members of your group.  

Thank you Frank McGourty, Secretary, IBIOLI


Check out the website for Failte Ireland approved accommodation

In addition, see the attached PDF for a “Liosta Lóistin” ** on Inishmaan (Inis Meáin) kindly provided by Dr O’Rourke.


We have a wish that the group would come together for an evening meal/dinner on Saturday night in Wilma's (Tigh Conghaile,099-73085, The diner’s choice is chicken or locally caught fish. 

Wilma will need to have a fairly firm idea of numbers and of diners’ choices of either chicken or fish a few days in advance. So please give me this information on the attached form.


  • Ferry from Ros a’ Mhíl (Rossaveal), Co Galway, please check with Free travel passes accepted.
  • Ferry from Doolin, Co Clare, please check with  (Also check if free travel passes are accepted to Inis Meáin (Inishmaan)).
  • By Air from Inverin, Co. Galway, please check with Fare is €49 return per person, group rate (4 or more) €44. Holders of a free travel pass, €15 per person, return. Departs Inverin on Fridays and Saturdays at 9am, 10.30am, 4.30pm. Returns Sat 9.15am and 4.45pm and Sundays 10.15am and 4.45pm. Please check aerarann web site above for Galway bus connection times (€3 per person, single journey)