Tory Ferry

Tory Island

Ancient history

In the apocryphal history of Ireland, Lebor Gabála Érenn, Tory Island was the site of Conand's Tower, the stronghold of the Fomorians, before they were defeated by the Nemedians in a great battle on the island. The later Fomorian king Balor of the evil eye also lived here. Balor would imprison Ethlinn in a tower built atop Tor Mór (or Túr Mór in Old Irish, meaning The High Tower). Tor Mór is the island's highest point


A monastery was founded on Tory in the 6th century by Colmcille. The monastery dominated life on the island until 1595, when it was plundered and destroyed by English troops, waging a war of suppression against local chieftains. The monastery's bell tower is the largest structure to survive and was built in the 6th or 7th century

Early modern history

In 1608, the Siege of Tory Island, one of the final incidents of O'Doherty's Rebellion, took place when a surviving group of rebels took shelter in the castle, only to begin killing each other to secure a pardon

Recent history

On 27 October 1914, the British lost their first battleship of World War I: the British super-dreadnought battleship HMS Audacious (23,400 tons) was sunk off Tory Island, by a minefield laid by the armed German merchant-cruiser Berlin. The loss was kept an official secret in Britain until 14 November 1918 (3 days after the end of the war). The sinking was witnessed and photographed by passengers on RMS Olympic, sister ship of RMS Titanic

50s and On

Since the 1950s, the island has been home to a small community of artists, and has its own art gallery. The English artist Derek Hill was associated with the Tory artist community

The King

Reflecting a long-standing tradition, a 'king' is chosen by consensus of the islanders. The most recent 'King of Tory' (in Irish Rí Thoraí) was painter Patsy Dan Rodgers (Patsaí Dan Mac Ruaidhrí), who held the post from the 1990s to his death on 19 October 2018. The king has no formal powers, though duties include being a spokesperson for the island community and welcoming people to the island

Tory has a long-standing tradition of a 'king', he is chosen by consensus of the islanders

Tory Ferry Mobile App

The Tory Ferry Mobile is available for free for Android and iOS devices. It gives you all the latest information on timetables, you can receive notifications about changes and buy tickets for your next trip to Tory Island.

Tory Ferry Mobile App, available on Android and iOS


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