Great Blasket Cottage, Co. Kerry
The archaeology and cultural heritage of the Blasket Islands is reserved a special place in the overall heritage of Ireland. There, for a long period into the 20th Century life continued to be pastoral and agricultural. In 1901 there were only 145 people living on the Blaskets and by 1911 there were 160. The majority of people made a living from the sea but with large families to support this life was very difficult. Multiple generations would have lived together in small houses. There was little by way of industry on the island to keep people, particularly younger people employed and so many left for the mainland or indeed America. One of the most famous island residents was Peig Sayers.
In 1953 the last residents of the Blaskets were permanently evacuated to the mainland and the houses began to fall into ruins. By that time there were only 22 people living on the islands and then Taoiseach Eamonn DeValera declared that the area be evacuated because of increasingly extreme and difficult weather.
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