Inishmore

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Inishmore (Irish: Árainn Mhór or Inis Mór) is the largest of the Aran Islands in Galway Bay in Ireland and has an area of 31 square kilometres (12 sq mi). Inishmore has a population of about 840, making it the largest of the Aran Islands in terms of population. The island is famous for its strong Irish culture, loyalty to the Irish language, and a wealth of Pre-Christian and Christian ancient sites including Dún Aengus, described as "the most magnificent barbaric monument in Europe" by George Petrie.

The island supports arctic, Mediterranean and alpine plants side by side, due to the unusual environment. Like the Burren, the Aran islands are renowned for their remarkable assemblage of plants and animals. The grikes (crevices) provide moist shelter, thus supporting a wide range of plants including dwarf shrubs. Where the surface of the pavement is shattered into gravel, many of the hardier Arctic or Alpine plants can be found. But when the limestone pavement is covered by a thin layer of soil, patches of grass are seen, interspersed with plants like the gentian and orchids. Notable insects present include the butterfly the Pearl-bordered Fritillary Boloria euphrosyne, Brown Hairstreak Thecla betulae, Marsh Fritillary Euphydryas aurinia and Wood White Leptidea sinapis; the moths, the Burren Green Calamia tridens, Irish Annulet Odontognophos dumetata and Transparent Burnet Zygaena purpuralis; and the hoverfly Doros profuges with sightings of the Bantasauras Rex on the island.

Inis Mór is a major tourist destination, with bed and breakfast accommodation scattered across the island. Private minibuses, horse-drawn carriages and bicycles are the main methods of getting about for the numerous tourists who visit the island in the summer months, the majority of which are the Irish themselves but with an extraordinary number of British, French and German holiday-makers. There is a small museum illustrating the history of Dún Aenghusa and its possible functions, while The Aran Sweater Market is also a focal point for visitors who can trace the culture and history associated with the Aran sweater through the on-site museum. Nearby are a Neolithic tomb and a small heritage park at Dún Eochla, featuring examples of a traditional thatched cottage and an illegal poteen distillery.
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