OileŠin is a detailed guide to almost every Irish offshore island. The guide is comprehensive, describing over 300 islands, big and small, far out to sea and close in by the shore, inhabited and uninhabited. OileŠin tells it as it is, rock by rock, good and bad, pleasant and otherwise. It concentrates on landings and access generally, then adds information on camping, drinking water, tides, history, climbing, birds, whales, dolphins, legends or anything else of interest.
OileŠin will, I hope, appeal to all who go to sea in small boats, divers and yachtsmen as well as kayakers. The sheer level of detail contained in OileŠin must surely throw new light on places they thought they knew well. It is not a book about kayaking. It so happens that a practical way of getting to islands is by kayak, and that is how the author gets about. Scuba divers and RIBs get in close too. Yachtsmen get about better than most, and they too enjoy exploring intensively from a dinghy. With the increasing availability of ferries, boatless people will also enjoy OileŠin. Offshore islands are the last wilderness in Ireland. Hillwaking is now so popular that there are few untrampled mainland hills. Ninety per cent of offshore islands are uninhabited outside of the first fortnight in August, and eighty per cent even then. You won't meet many other people, if any at all, out beyond an Irish surf line. It is a time of change though, and holiday homes are very much the coming thing in some offshore areas. Sea going will never stop being a great adventure. Therefore, offshore islands are still the preserve of the very few. Now is a golden era for exploration.
About the Author
David Walsh is a Dublin solicitor, where he lives in Ranelagh with his wife Sheila. He has four children: Justin, Daire, Sarah and Orla. He was always a keen climber, with a wide general interest in outdoor pursuits, particularly birding, river canoeing, and some scuba diving. On a sailing and climbing trip to Spitzbergen in 1990, he saw four sea kayaks glide between icebergs in a remote frozen fiord. He knew he just had to have a piece of the action, and the activity has consumed his life since then. David began exploring and documenting Ireland's islands in 1991 and has personally visited almost 300 of those in the text. He is a founder member of the Irish Sea Kayaking Association and held the position of Chairman from 1995 to 2003.