Fancy island life? If the price is right, this dream hideaway could be yours


Sales of the Irish islands have skyrocketed over the past five years as international buyers warm to its remoteness, safety, ‘green’ appeal and value for money compared to Caribbean and Mediterranean hideaways.

A specialized sales website has almost halved the number of Emerald Isles on offer in recent years due to so-called “boutique” sales.

Three years ago Private Islands Online (PIO) had nine islands for sale ranging from isolated islands off the west and south west coasts to smaller, more sheltered islands in Irish lakes.

Now their island offering has been reduced to five including Rabbit Island, Inish Beg, Shore, West Calf and Mannion’s Island.

The auctioneers stressed that islands have never been more attractive to wealthy investors as interest in environmental protection and green living increases.

Currency trends have also made the Irish islands extremely attractive to investors.

One of the most famous sales was in 2020, when 157 hectares of Horse Island off West Cork were sold for €5.5 million.

It was sold via video link, although the buyer – a Cypriot investor – had never actually visited the island. It was one of the most developed Irish islands.

It had its own luxurious six-bedroom main house and six guest cabins, as well as its own pier, helipad and playhouse with sauna.

Another sale was Castle Island, also in West Cork. The 123-hectare island in Roaringwater Bay has been sold by its longtime owner for €1.5 million.

Its new owner is an English businessman based in France who wanted the island of West Cork as a future retreat.

Last year, the dune-covered Mayo island of Bartragh sold for €1.1 million.

English golfer and Masters champion Nick Faldo had hoped to build a golf course on the island, but his dream never came to fruition.

Bartragh comprises 440 acres of mostly sand dunes in Killala Bay. Its new owner – understood as a European investor – hopes to develop the island into an environmentally sustainable farming operation, complete with a luxury home that can be used for high-end vacations.

PIO lists the selling points of some Irish islands as accessibility to the mainland, existing facilities or demolished structures that can secure planning permission for new luxury properties. Farming land is also a key selling point for European and North American buyers looking to underscore their environmental credentials.

Among the most attractive islands still available on the market is West Calf off the West Cork coast. The westernmost of the three calf islands in Roaringwater Bay is offered for sale along with several derelict farmhouses which could allow any buyer to develop their own luxury island hideaway.

The island consists of 62 hectares of land and lies 4 km off the coast of West Cork.

According to PrivateIslandsOnline, the West Calf offers “beautiful scenery and excellent sailing… a perfect balance between the peaceful seclusion of your own island and the many interesting historic villages and towns of South West Cork to enjoy and explore”.

A seven-digit amount is expected. Fancy island life? If the price is right, this dream hideaway could be yours

Fry Electronics Team

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