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Inis Meáin is the middle of the three Aran Islands Inishmaan (Irish: Inis Meáin, the official name, formerly spelled Inis Meadhóin, meaning "middle island") is the middle of the three main Aran Islands in Galway Bay on the west coast of Ireland. It is part of County Galway in the province of Connacht. Inishmaan has a population of about 160, making it the smallest of the Aran Islands in terms of population. It is also quieter and less touristy than its two neighbours Inishmore and Inisheer.[citation needed] It is, however, one of the most important strongholds of traditional Irish culture. The island is predominantly Irish-speaking and is part of the Gaeltacht. Contents 1 Landmarks 1.1 Archaeological sites 1.2 Synge's Cottage and Chair 2 Infrastructure 3 Education 4 References 5 Gallery 6 Further reading 7 External links 8 See also Landmarks Dún Chonchúir (Conor's fort), Inishmaan Archaeological sites There are two notable stone forts on the island. Dún Chonchúir (Conor's Fort) is an ancient oval stone fort, dating to pre-Christian times, with views of the island's other ancient sites and the sea. And the stone fort Dún Fearbhaí, which dates from the 4th century A.D. and is unusual in being almost rectangular - instead of circular as the other forts on the island. Clochán na Carraige is a beehive hut, the structure of which is unusual[citation needed] because the outside is circular but the inside is rectangular. Synge's Cottage and Chair Synge's Cottage Teach Synge is the house where John Millington Synge stayed on the island every summer from 1898 to 1902, where he was hosted by Bríd and Páidín Mac Donnchadha. It was here he is said to have got inspiration for his plays The Playboy of the Western World,[1] Riders to the Sea, and many of his other works from stories he heard while on Inishmaan. The house he stayed in, Teach Synge, was inhabited by descendants of the Mac Donnchadha family until the 1970s, when it began to fall into disrepair. It has been restored to its original condition, and has been open to the public since August 1999. Cathaoir Synge (Synge's Chair) was the writer's favourite place on the island, overlooking Inishmore and the Atlantic. Infrastructure As with the other Aran Islands roads are narrow and a speed limit of 50 km/h applies. The island is connected to the national grid via a submarine cable as well as having wind turbines with an installed capacity of 675 kW. A desalination plant provides water for the residents[2] Education There is a primary school on the island, Scoil Náisiúnta Inis Meáin.[3][4][5] References ^ Full text available from Project Gutenberg ^ Inis mean water restored airport still closed ^ http://historical-debates.oireachtas.ie/D/0431/D.0431.199306030110.html ^ http://www.gaelport.com/index.php?page=news&news_id=1471 ^ http://historical-debates.oireachtas.ie/D/0430/D.0430.199305050016.html Gallery Inside Dún Chonchúir (Conor's fort), Inishmaan Church of Our Lady and St. John Wind turbines Further reading Coley, Patricia, and J. M. Armer. Inishmaan. London: Queen Mary College Univ, 1959. Quilkin, Rennie Mc. 1999. "Inishmaan". Poetry. 174, no. 5: 277. Synge, J. M. 1903. "A Dream on Inishmaan". Green Sheaf. no. 2: 8-9. Synge, J. M. A Story from Inishmaan. [Dublin: New Ireland Review, 1898. External links Pictures from Inishmaan Inis-Meaín Information See also Aran Islands Galway Bay Coordinates: 53°05′N 9°35′W / 53.083°N 9.583°W / 53.083; -9.583