Blasket Island Centre
Blasket Island Centre

Blasket Centre in Dingle Reopens

The Blasket Centre in Dingle, Co. Kerry, was updated in 2020 to include a beautiful new viewing platform providing stunning views of the Atlantic coast and the Great Blasket Island.

But since then, some other major renovations have taken place at this popular tourist attraction, which visitors will appreciate when the center reopens on June 28th.

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people standing and sitting blasket centre in dingle
The interior of the Blasket Centre, with views of the islands beyond. Photo: Rick Simpson for Failte Ireland.

A revamp of the interior as well as the addition of new exhibitions, interactive displays, artifacts, audio-visual presentations, and artworks all tell the story of Blasket Island life that ended when the last remaining residents were evacuated by the Irish government in 1953.

The center focuses on much of the traditional work that Blasket Islanders did to eke out a living in this windswept place.

stone house in field how to save money on a trip to Ireland
An abandoned house on the Great Blasket Islands off the coast of Co. Kerry. Photo: Samm, Flickr, Creative Commons License

The new exhibitions will explain how they survived on subsistence fishing and farming.

Visitors will also get an insight into their home life, the types of houses they lived in, and the kind of entertainment that was common on the island through a series of sounds and images.

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From the Great Blasket Island to America: The Last Memoir by an Islander

Visitors from the United States will be particularly interested in the “American Room,” which describes the effect of emigration on rural communities like the Blasket Island.

In fact, many of them ended up in Springfield, Mass., where they settled in the heavily Irish community known as “Hungry Hill.”
The view of the Great Blasket Island from the center. Photo: Tourism Ireland.

The Wild Atlantic Way Viewing Point, which is accessible to people of all ages and abilities, together with these latest enhancements was completed with the help of government agencies and Failte Ireland.

The project also includes the restoration of the original house of the Great Blasket Islander and renowned writer Tomas O’Criomhthain.

white cottage blasket centre in dingle
Tomas O'Crohan's restored house on the Great Blasket Island.

Some of the images of island life that visitors will see at the newly revamped center include the old post office, which was built in the 1900s and provided a vital connection with the mainland; the National School, which was located in the center of the village and also served as a church during the summer months, and Peig Sayers’ House, perhaps the island’s most famous person, among other memorabilia.

The center is one of the discovery points along the From the Great Blasket Island to America: The Last Memoir by an Islander.

The Blasket Centre in Dingle is open from March 13th through Sept. 28th, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Admission is €5 for adults, €4 for seniors, and €3 for children/students. A family ticket is €13. Free admission is available on the first Wednesday of each month.

Read More: Experience the Great Blasket Island for a Quick, Memorable Getaway

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