Offshore Islands

Offshore Islands

Tory Island - Toraigh


Tory Island
Republic of Ireland

Tory Island or Toraigh is an island of mystery and antiquity off the northern tip of Donegal.

Toraigh’s remoteness has led to the preservation of the traditions and way of life of its resilient and independent people. Their music, dance, song and stories are living expressions of an ancient Gaelic culture. Many of Toraigh’s ancient customs still survive, including the appointment of the island king or Rí Thoraí.

Toraigh is famous for its school of 'primitive painters', who were encouraged by the internationally famous painter, the late Derek Hill. Gailearaí Dixon exhibits the work of island artists.

Interesting historical sites include a round tower that once protected monks from Viking raids, the ruins of St Colmcille’s 6th century monastery and the intriguing Tau Cross that suggests early seafaring links to the Coptic Christians of Egypt. The island also boasts an abundance of rare bird life and wild flower species as well as a rich submarine landscape that can be explored through the local dive centre.

Tory must be visited if one is to understand why this remote crag holds such an attraction for its inhabitants that they, like their forebears, endure the full fury of the North Atlantic winter for the privilege of living there in summer.

Services ProvidedKEY
  • IrishSpoken
General DescriptionsKEY
  • Accommodation : Hotel, small number of B&Bs, apartments, hostel. Café, pubs, shops, gallery. Bike-hire, mini-bus hire.
  • Activities : Scuba diving (dive centre); waymarked walking trail; cycling; sea angling; rock climbing; birdwatching; traditional music & dance, dolphin and whale watching.
  • Did you know? : Toraigh has unique birdlife including both cliff-nesting seabirds and the globally threatened corncrake.
  • Population : Population: Over 130. A Gaeltacht island.
  • Size : Approx 3 km long and 1 km wide.

Sailings from An Bun Beag and Machaire Uí Rabhartaigh.
Turasmara (Donegal Coastal Cruises)
Daily, year round.
Capacity: 72 Passengers
Tel: +353(0)74 9531320
Sailings from Machaire Uí Rabhartaigh
Toraigh na dTonn
Daily, April through October.
Capacity: 28 Passengers
Tel: +353(0)74 9135920
Tel: +353(0)74 9135282


The Bell Tower (An Cloigtheach) of the sixth/seventh century; T-shaped Tau Cross standing close to the harbour pier, dating from the 12th century; Balor’s Fort: (Dún Bhaloir) located on the highest part of the island; The Wishing Stone; St. John’s Altar; guided walks, spectacular scenery and birdlife.

Things To Do Nearby

Summer festivals