Rutland Island, County Donegal

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Rutland Island
Native name: Inis Mhic an Doirn
Remains of Conyngham's fishing complex on Rutland Island - - 566659.jpg
Remains of Conyngham's fishing complex on Rutland Island.
Rutland Island is located in island of Ireland
Rutland Island
Rutland Island
Location Atlantic Ocean
Coordinates 54°58′45″N 8°27′32″W / 54.97917°N 8.45889°W / 54.97917; -8.45889Coordinates: 54°58′45″N 8°27′32″W / 54.97917°N 8.45889°W / 54.97917; -8.45889
Province Ulster
County Donegal
Population 1 (2011)

Rutland Island (Irish: Inis Mhic an Doirn), also sometimes known as Inishmacadurn, is an island in County Donegal, Ireland, and an electoral and census reporting district covering it, surrounding islands and part of the mainland. The island itself has no permanent inhabitants, but the district, which includes Burtonport and its environs, had 1,428 residents in 2006. The island lies between Burtonport and the inhabited Arranmore Island, and is not officially served by ferry.


The island was previously populated, with a planned settlement having been established by William Burton Conyngham from 1784, including a street of residences and business premises, with the area's post office, school house and a fish landing and processing facility being built in this village. While fish catches declined heavily shortly after construction, with services closing or leaving, the island remained inhabited into the 1960s.

Mains electricity reached the island in 1957, due to it being a crucial stepping stone for the Arranmore supply, but piped water has never been provided for its remaining housing stock, which consists entirely of holiday homes.

A documentary was filmed about the history of the island and its influence on Irish history during the summer of 2007.

Rutland Island has become a popular holiday destination with a number of holiday homes been built in the first decade of the 2000s.


Tarent Street, Rutland Island, built 1789

The table below reports data on Rutland's population taken from Discover the Islands of Ireland (Alex Ritsema, Collins Press, 1999) and the Census of Ireland. Census data in Ireland before 1841 are not considered complete and/or reliable.

Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1841 125 —    
1851 108 −13.6%
1861 75 −30.6%
1871 69 −8.0%
1881 85 +23.2%
1891 87 +2.4%
1901 65 −25.3%
1911 78 +20.0%
Year Pop. ±%
1926 41 −47.4%
1936 38 −7.3%
1946 50 +31.6%
1951 35 −30.0%
1956 15 −57.1%
1961 7 −53.3%
1966 2 −71.4%
1971 2 +0.0%
Year Pop. ±%
1979 0 −100.0%
1981 0 0.00%
1986 4 —    
1991 0 −100.0%
1996 0 0.00%
2002 0 0.00%
2006 13 —    
2011 1 −92.3%
Source: Central Statistics Office. "CNA17: Population by Off Shore Island, Sex and Year". Retrieved October 12, 2016. 


Badgers have been recorded from this Island.[1]There is evidence that their diet is poor.[2]

The Island is also home to some very tame foxes.


The following algae have been reported from Rutland South Channel: Gracilaria gracilis (Stackhouse) Steentoft, L.M. Irvine et Farnham; Rhodymenia holmesii Ardissone; Polysiphonia fucoides (Hudson) Greville; Polysiphonia nigra (Hudson) Batters; Sphondylothamnion multifidum (Hudson) Nägeli; Heterosiphonia plumosa (J. Ellis) Batters.[3]


  1. ^ Sleeman, P.D. et al. 2009. The small-bodied Badgers (Meles meles (L.)) of Rutland Island, Co. Donegal. Irish Naturalists' Journal 1 - 6
  2. ^ Sleeman, D.P. and Daverport, J. 2016. Irish Naturalists' Journal. 35(1) 22 - 26
  3. ^ Morton, O. 2003. The marine macroalgae of County Donegal, Ireland. Bulletin Irish Biogeographical Society no. 27: 3 - 164

Media related to Rutland Island, County Donegal at Wikimedia Commons