Rathlin Island lies five miles north of Ballycastle and just twelve miles west of the Mull of Kintyre in Scotland. Shaped like a truncated figure seven, Rathlin is an impressive, craggy place, with a coastline consisting almost entirely of cliffs, and a lighthouse at each tip. As the island’s width is never more than a mile, the sea dominates the landscape and its salty winds discourage the growth of vegetation – wind turbines harness this energy source for electricity generation. The presence of dry-stone walls and numerous ruined cottages indicates a time when the population was far larger than the hundred or so current inhabitants concentrated in Church Quarter.

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