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Scarriff Island Hill An Scairbh A name in Irish
(Ir. An Scairbh [logainm.ie], poss. 'rough place') Kerry County, in Binnion List, Green sandstone & siltstone Bedrock

Height: 252m OS 1:50k Mapsheet: 84 Grid Reference: V44376 55202 This summit has been logged as climbed by 8 members. Recently by: chalky, Conor74, kernowclimber, mcrtchly, dbloke, wicklore, Peter Walker, jackill
I have climbed this summit: NO (You need to be a logged-in member to change this.)

Longitude: -10.253098, Latitude: 51.728125 , Easting: 44376, Northing: 55202 Prominence: 252m,   Isolation: 2.3km
ITM: 444363 555266,   GPS IDs, 6 char: ScrfIs, 10 char: ScrfIslnd
Bedrock type: Green sandstone & siltstone, (St. Finans Sandstone Formation)

Why Scarriff is so named is something of a mystery, as it is quite some distance from the mainland in deep water. One possible solution is to interpret the name as Ir. garbh, 'rough', with a prosthetic s-, as happens with many other words, such as teach and creag.   Scarriff Island is the 1268th highest summit in Ireland. Scarriff Island is the most southerly summit and also the most westerly in the Dunkerron Mountains area.

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COMMENTS for Scarriff Island 1 of 1
MountainViews.ie Picture about mountain Scarriff Island in area Dunkerron Mountains, Ireland
Picture: Towards the Scarriff Steps
Mind the Goats
by wicklore  25 Jul 2011
‘Mind the goats’ the man said cheerily. ‘They’re not used to people so they might go for you’. And he shoved off from the island, leaving us to our fate. And these weren’t typical goats. They were the big hairy kind, the strong kind with massive curved horns. The kind of goats that when they appear out of the shrouding mist look big and scary and make you stand ever so subconsciously closer to the next person. As we ascended Scarriff I noticed that the goats initially appeared in 1’s and 2’s before slipping away into the cloud. Each time they reappeared there were more of them. ‘They’re grouping for an all out counter-assault’ I whispered to my fellow walkers. ‘They won’t take this invasion of their territory lightly.’ But the goats played a diplomatic hand. They chose to wait and ascertain our motive for being there, before deciding their own move. And they discovered our motive was benign- to simply have the unique joy of climbing to the top of Scarriff Island. We meant no harm to the goats, the bird population, the flora, or the plentiful butterflies. And so the goats left us in peace and we left them in peace, giving each other something to talk about in the days ahead.

It’s not often, nay rarely, that humans land on this island. But some do, and the evidence of their passing is there to see. Scarriff has the remains of a dwelling. This family left in the 1920’s under a Government relocation scheme, supposedly after a resident had to swim several miles ashore to seek help for an ill family member. Their ruined home remains, along with overgrown stone walls which are home to some of the island’s many nesting birds. It was emotional to stand at their former home and imagine what life was like for the children growing up there. I could almost hear their laughter as I imagined them running up and down the steep grassy slopes above their house

There is evidence of more recent activity too – modern post and wire fencing is erected here and there, its purpose unclear. However the island was used periodically for grazing sheep so perhaps this fencing is a leftover from those times. But all of this has little impact on the 365 acre island – most of the time that you are walking you will see nothing but the high grass, heather and gorse that cover the land. The goats will appear sporadically and disappear just as quickly. And of course you will have the eternal accompanying sounds of the myriad of birdlife that choose this as their home.

Scarriff is an island almost completely encircled by cliffs and insurmountable rocks. But someone in the distant past thoughtfully carved out some tentative steps in one section of gentle sloping rock, making access a little less slippery. It was here that our boatmen dropped us with their friendly warning about the goats. Reaching the summit in the cloud, we found an unmarked grassy mound. We chose to leave it as we found it, and took nothing but precious memories. Trackback: http://mountainviews.ie/summit/1000/comment/6433/
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The violent history
by Conor74  27 Jul 2011
Richard Mersey, in his "Hills of Cork and Kerry" refers to an event in medieval times involving John Arundel, Knight of Cornwall (not sure that title is accurate) who pillaged a convent in England, sailed to Ireland where he threw the nuns overboard to lighten the ship during a storm, and who landed on this island only to be dragged off it and to his death by a wave. There is no indication as to how accurate this version is, but it would be rather interesting to speculate if the Oratory, whose ruins we passed, would have stood gazing down on the scene. Anyway, I just had to check this one out a little more, and Wikepedia obliges with 2 different entries...

1. Sir John Arundell of Lanherne (died 1379), was an English naval commander...celebrated for his repulse of the French fleet off the coast of Cornwall in 1379... Having, according to Thomas Walsingham's story, profaned a convent at or near Southampton, and carried off many of its occupants, the fleet was pursued by a violent tempest, when the wretched nuns who had been carried off were thrown overboard to lighten the ships. The vessels were, however, wrecked on the Irish coast, according to some authorities near Scariff, but according to others at Cape Clear Island. Sir John Arundell, together with his esquires, and other men of high birth, were drowned, and twenty-five ships were lost with most of their crews.

2. He was born in Etchingham, Sussex, England to Richard Fitzalan, 10th Earl of Arundel and his second wife Eleanor of Lancaster (Eleanor Plantagenet).

Being in command of a naval expedition in aid to the Duke of Brittany, he defeated the French fleet off the coast of Cornwall.

Commanding a force with the purpose of bringing relief to the Duke of Brittany, Sir John was compelled to wait for stronger winds. During this wait he decided to take refuge in a nunnery, where his men "took no notice of the sanctity of the place and... violently assaulted and raped" those they found inside. Further to this Sir John "allowed his men to ransack the countryside as they liked and to impoverish the people". When the force eventually set out to sea, carrying with them goods stolen from a nearby church and under a pronouncement of excommunication from the wronged priests, the expedition was caught in a storm. Thomas Walsingham reports that during the panic of the storm, Sir John murdered those of his men who refused to make for shore for fear of being shipwrecked upon the rocks. Subsequently, after safely arriving on an island off the Irish coast, Sir John and his boat captain were swept back into the sea and drowned. He was buried in Lewes, Sussex.

Source'The Chronica Maiora of Thomas Walsingham, 1376-1422', ed. & trans. J. Taylor, W. Childs & L. Watkiss Trackback: http://mountainviews.ie/summit/1000/comment/6435/
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MountainViews.ie Picture about mountain Scarriff Island in area Dunkerron Mountains, Ireland
Picture: Mountainviewers reach new heights
First Ascent
by mcrtchly  25 Jul 2011
As we approached Scarriff Island it appeared almost ominously through the fog ahead of us. As we got closer we could see that the island was draped in cloud which looked to me almost like some land that 'time forgot'. We landed on the NE coast of Scarriff , half expecting to meet some prehistoric creatures but we only found a herd of goats (along with the resident seabirds) and followed a SW line for about 1.6km to the summit. The going was a bit harder than Puffin Island, which we had already done on the same day, mainly because the extensive cover of long grass, bracken, gorse and heather which was sodden from the fog shrouding the island. Although there were no views from the summit (because of the fog) the views from lower down gave a stunning perspective of the coastline and an appreciation of the isolation of the family who lived on the island until the early C20th. Once again thanks to Wicklore for organising the visit. Trackback: http://mountainviews.ie/summit/1000/comment/6432/
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MountainViews.ie Picture about mountain Scarriff Island in area Dunkerron Mountains, Ireland
Picture: dead eyes
Supervalu and chocolate
by jackill  25 Jul 2011
Back in 1911 Lawerence Shea and his wife Bridget would have looked out of this bedroom window at Deenish Island.
He could not read or write and spoke only Irish. Five of his seven living children recorded in the census could and spoke Irish and English.
How alien would our lifes today seem to these people
In 1901 the same Sheas were living on the mainland in the townland of Coomatloukane.
Two shepherds father and son John and Patrick Galvin shared the house on the island at that time.
One of our boatmen said that a story goes locally that one of the Galvins once swam to the mainland to get help for a family member with appendicitis.

Thatch gone now, and only one window with a frame. Trackback: http://mountainviews.ie/summit/1000/comment/6429/
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Long live the Goats
by chalky  31 Jul 2015
Des O'Shea operates a RIB from Wave Crest campsite, Caherdaniel ,www.ribtrips.ie and took me to Deanish first then on to Scarriff which has a natural harbour near the NE corner . Presumably the Goats are keeping the vegetation in check so easier going than Deanish. Mass is held every year in the ruined house on the island ,this year 100 attented ! Trackback: http://mountainviews.ie/summit/1000/comment/18217/
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MountainViews.ie Picture about mountain Scarriff Island in area Dunkerron Mountains, Ireland
Picture: The bulk of Scarriff Island rising from the Atlantic.
paddyhillsbagger on Scarriff Island, 2009
by paddyhillsbagger  3 Aug 2009
My hat goes off to the first one to climb this island hill. Not only does it look quite imposing, but simply sailing the water to it would be an adventure! Trackback: http://mountainviews.ie/summit/1000/comment/3992/
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(End of comment section for Scarriff Island.)

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