Carbery's Hundred Isles

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Carbery's 100 Isles is a term that could[citation needed] refer to all the islands along the coast of the Baronies of Carbery West and Carbery East, descendants of the medieval Barony of Carbery, on the Celtic Sea, in the far south-west of Ireland. It is actually[citation needed] used mainly for those in and around Long Island Bay and Roaringwater Bay (County Cork).

Because of the Gulf Stream influence, the islands have a mild climate. However, most of them are exposed to the elements, so patches of lush vegetation contrast with treeless expanses of hill and bog, fringed with rocky cliffs and mixed shingle and sand beaches. The eastern islands within the estuary of the Ilen River are more sheltered and fertile.

Cléire, Sherkin, Long and Heir Islands are the most prominent of the seven inhabited islands in the group.

The phrase is taken from the narrative poem "The Sack of Baltimore" by Thomas Davis, published in 1844, which tells of the raid on the village of Baltimore by Algerian pirates in 1631, in which most of the inhabitants were kidnapped and brought to the slave markets of Algiers. Setting the scene, the first line reads:

"The summer sun is falling soft on Carbery's hundred isles..."

This is an instance of poetic license, since there are no more than 50 islands in the archipelago (excluding reefs and stacks subject to inundation). The popularity of the poem in the 19th century ensured that the poetic phrase passed into popular parlance, and more recently into tourist-industry literature.


The most notable islands are Cléire and Sherkin Island. Others include:

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