A century ago, a child was born on a remote island in the far west of Ireland. The community was small but unusually rich in language and culture. After the death of his brother, as life there became harder, the island had to be abandoned. The boy went to America, but never forgot his home. Decades later, as a very old man, the last islandman risked his life to return to the Great Blasket, one last time. Here is the story of that day.

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1. Dreams of Home

“I don’t know if I will be able to make it,” says Mike Carney, looking out across a wild stretch of water to the place where he was born 92 years ago. “I would like to put my feet down there one more time, but I wonder, is it possible?”

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