An emerald isle of the Emerald Isle  

An emerald isle of the Emerald Isle

If you were to find yourself wandering across the tiny island of Inisheer on March 17, you"d almost certainly hear someone greet you with a hearty "Lá fhéile Pádraig sona dhuit!" That"s because nearly all the island"s 260 residents would want to wish you a happy Saint Patrick"s Day in their native Irish tongue. The smallest of the three Aran Islands that are strung across the mouth of Galway Bay in western Ireland, Inisheer has been inhabited from prehistory—artifacts from as early as the Bronze Age have been found scattered around its 1,400 acres. The tiny drystone wall subdivisions of the fields are a result of a long tradition of splitting family farms between all the children. After a few generations, farms were reduced to the garden-size patches you can see here.

© Chris Hill/Minden Pictures

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