DALKEY ISLAND AND THE MUGLINS PHOTOGRAPHED APRIL 2007
The rocks to the east of the main island are known as “The Muglins” and are a different group or chain. These form a danger to shipping and have been fitted with a distinctive beacon. The beacon stands on the site of what was once a ‘gibbet’ where the bodies of two pirates, Peter McKinlie and George Gidley were displayed following their execution for the murders of Captain Cockeran, Captain George Glas and his family and others on board the ship Earl of Sandwich in 1765. Their remains lie buried under the concrete plinth base of the beacon.
Dalkey Island is an island for which the nearby village of Dalkey is named. It is an uninhabited island located c. 16 km (9.9 mi) south of Dublin and 3 km (1.9 mi) south of Dún Laoghaire harbour. An important site of pilgrimage for centuries, it has been known as “St Begnet’s Isle” since records began. The earliest reference to ‘Dalkey Island’ is from c. 1782. The island had a population of 8 in 1841.
The island is currently uninhabited but there is evidence of human occupation dating back to the Neolithic period. The remains of field systems, a church, a cairn burial, a gun battery and the Martello Tower still exist.
There are two Holy Wells, one on the western shoreline is known locally as the “Scurvy Well” and is located within a surrounding stone structure. There is also a bullaun stone formed from an earthbound boulder. This may have been used as a pagan altar as it was ‘Christianised’ in the 7th century by carving an early Christian cross on the face. This lies close to the remains of the church. At the northern extremity of the Island there is evidence of a deep ditch or fosse that was the boundary of a medieval Promontary Fort. Located less than 300 metres off the mainland, the island comprises 9 hectares (22 acres).