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Inishtrahull or 'Inis Trá Thuathail' as used by speakers of Donegal Irish, meaning 'Island with the beach on the opposite or contrary side' as is clear when compared to other islands on the Irish coast, where the landing place always faces the mainland, is the most northerly island of Ireland. It has an area of 0.34 square kilometres and lies about 10 kilometres north-east of Malin Head, County Donegal. The most northerly landfall of Ireland, the Tor Beg rock, is another one kilometer to the north. Inishtrahull is home to Ireland's northernmost lighthouse. The island had a resident community until 1929 and the lighthouse was manned until 1987. Today it is uninhabited and has been designated a protected area due to its wildlife.
The island is formed of a granitic gneiss, a type of metamorphic rock, which is known as Inishtrahull Gneiss. It is dated at 1.7 billion years old, making it Paleoproterozoic in age, and is the oldest known rock on the Irish Islands. The Inishtrahull Gneiss is considered to form part of the Rhinns complex that is also exposed on the islands of Islay and Colonsay. The Rhinns complex is correlated with the Ketilidian metamorphic belt of southern Greenland and the Svecofennian of Scandinavia.
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