Inis Meáin (Inis Maan) as its name translates, is the middle of the three inhabited islands, with a population of approx 225 settled largely on the sheltered high ground at the centre of the Island.
Inis Meáin has managed to suppress the intrusion of the modern world to a large degree and remains the quietest and most traditional of the three Islands. Famous for its traditional dress, Inis Meáin boasts a fine knit-wear factory, which mixes traditional with modern fashion trends, for both the local market and the overseas designer houses. The attached Museum chronicles the origins and meaning of the different stitches in Aran and has some memorabilia from the past including a bronze bust of John Millington Synge.
The sailing time to Inis Meáin is 45 minutes.
'S é Inis Meáin an t-oileán láir den trí oileán. Tá tuairm 's 225 duine ina gcónaí ar an oileán – a bhformhór acu curtha fúthu i lár an oileáin. 'S é Inis Meáin an t-oileán is traidisiúnta agus is lú a bhfuil lorg an domhan nua aimseartha le féiceáil ann. Tá cliú agus cáil ar an oileán mar gheall ar an bhfesiteas tradisiúnta a bhíonn á chaitheamh ag na daoine. Tá monarchan cniotála ar an oileán a thairgíonn earraí cniotáilte don mhargadh áitiúl chomh maith le siopaí mór le rá thar lear. Chaith J.M. Synge go leor ama in Inis Meáin agus is ann a scríobh sé 'Ryders to the Sea'.
John Millington Synge
This is the last outpost of ancient Europe; I am privileged to see it before it disappears forever.
The Aran Man, J.M. Synge
John Millington Synges' love affair with Inis Meáin began in 1903. He arrived on the Island on the advice of fellow writer W.B. Yeats and found Inis Meáin a great source of inspiration for many of his prose and plays. Synge admired the resilience and deep-rooted nature of the Inis Meáin people and their traditions.
Dún Chonchúir is an impressive oval fortress measuring 227ft by 115ft and up to 20ft in height. Built on a great height, it has breath-taking views of the Island and the neighbouring islands.
Dún Fearbhaí is the second stone fort on the island, over-looking the main pier, this fort is most notable for its unusual shape, almost square in shape as opposed to the normal round shape. The terraces along the inside of the walls may have been for defenders to look over or for some ceremonial purpose.
Cill Cheannanach may translate as 'church of the cannons' or may refer to St. Gregory "Cheannfhionnadh", the fair headed. It is a stunningly preserved 8th Century church with fabulous views over the Islands.
The church of Mary Immaculate is famed for its magnificent stained-glass windows designed by the Harry Clarke studios and its alter designed by Padraig Pearse's father.
Teampall na Seacht Mac Rí (Church of the seven sons) was an important site of pilgrimage in the past. Mass is still held here every August 15th. The ancient site contains the grave and holy well of Saint Cinndearg, though very little remains of the church.
Aran Islands Dive Centre P.A.D.I. dive centre offer classes for all levels from 8 years and up.