My wife enjoys the Sawdoctors' song, "Clare Island," while walking and listening to her mp3, so she had the idea for our trip to Ireland to visit Clare Island for her birthday. We saw good write-ups on O'Grady's Guesthouse and got quick responses from Helen O'Grady confirming our reservation request for 3 rooms for our small group. We took the 20-minute ferry ride from Roonagh on the mainland which dropped us a 3-minute walk from O'Grady Guesthouse, and right at Grace O'Malley's (the "Pirate Queen") small castle guarding the harbor. Helen gave us a very warm greeting and suggestions for things to do and a restaurant for dinner (Sailors Bar & Restaurant - excellent!). Our rooms were very clean and nicely furnished, and the double for my wife and I fronted the ocean with a real nice view. The building is a lovely modern home with very nice attractive decor.
We enjoyed an afternoon hike down the road with gorgeous ocean views and rolling hills landscape populated by many sheep including this spring's newborn lambs. At the end of our hike we reached Grainne O'Malley's grave and chapel. Back at the guesthouse, a 10-minute walk along the shore took us to the Sailors Bar for dinner, which is a very fine restaurant in decor and food quality and where we celebrated my wife's birthday watching pods of dolphins leaping in the ocean. Helen served us a delicious breakfast, we enjoyed the morning sunshine on the picnic table out front while waiting to meet our departing ferry back to the mainland. All in all we had a delightful visit to Clare Island and we highly recommend O'Grady's Guesthouse if you have a chance to get to the island.