In Community | By Fogo Island Inn | January 11, 2019

The Luck of the Irish

St. Patrick’s Day on Fogo Island is a big deal.

Fogo Island’s first European settlers were English Protestants from Devon and Dorset and Catholics from Southeast Ireland. They settled in their own isolated but strong communities and supported their families by sealing and fishing. For centuries, Fogo Island was a non-capital-accumulating society: Islanders fished together as families and were fiercely independent and largely disconnected from the outside world. They came for the cod and stayed for the cod, and settlers brought with them their respective dialects from Southwest England and Ireland—the remnants of which remain audible to this day in the distinctive accents of Fogo Islanders.

Visitors to Fogo Island over the course of St. Patrick’s Day weekend should make sure to include a stop at the Inn’s neighbouring community of Tilting, settled by the Irish in the mid-18th century. To this day, Tilting is a place where Irish culture and an Irish-inflected dialect flourish on this side of the Atlantic. Guests will have the opportunity to explore landscapes that have remained remarkably unchanged since the arrival of the very first Irish settlers, and observe the Island’s Irish-influenced vernacular architecture. If the luck of the Irish is smiling upon them, they may even chance upon a traditional Irish supper being served. In the days before roads and cars on Fogo Island, individuals from other communities would walk the 10-20 km to share in the community’s Irish celebrations. Further revelry is to be had on St. Patrick’s Day evening, as the St. Patrick’s Parish Hall will be open to the Island’s community members and visitors alike to enjoy the lively folk tunes, laughs, and musical entertainment which will surely have all tapping their toes and lifting their heels while the night is young.

For bookings and more information on celebrating St. Patrick's Day on Fogo Island, click here.