• Exile to the Flannan Isles

    by  • 1 February 2009 • Tales & Traditions • 0 Comments

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    From Sanais,1988.

    There lived in Uig, before the advent of the policeman, a man of great physical powers and a wild, lawless nature, who robbed and plundered his neighbours with impunity.  To remove him, the crew of a boat to visit the Flannan Isles evolved a plan to maroon him on one of the islands.  They invited him to accompany them on their voyage, the last of the season.  He accepted their offer and set off, and landed safely on Eilean an Tighe.  When they were on the eve of their returning, with their cargo of birds and eggs, they suddenly remembered that they had left a basket of eggs on the other side of the island.

    When they asked their intended victim, probably the most energetic of them, to go and fetch the eggs on board, he fell into the trap and set off across the island.  As soon as he was out of sight, the others pushed off and set sail for home.  On arriving at Uig they reported that the man had falled over a cliff and been drowned.  They felt sure that their treachery would never be found out for the deemed it impossible that one should survive for a winter in such a wild and barren place.

    On returning to the island the following summer, however, they found the marooned man alive and well.  In a sheltered spot he had built himself a hut and had subsisted on a shellfish and seafowl.  The ruins of his house are still to be seen and from that time the island has been known as Eilean an Tighe.

    The Flannans also sustained hermits, and a shipwrecked whaler.

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