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Inis Meáin 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. Inis Meáin 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. 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.
The island is an extension of The Burren. The terrain of the island is composed of limestone pavements with crisscrossing cracks known as "grikes", leaving isolated rocks called "clints". The limestones date from the Visean period (Lower Carboniferous), formed as sediments in a tropical sea approximately 350 million years ago, and compressed into horizontal strata with fossil corals, crinoids, sea urchins and ammonites.
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 because the outside is circular but the inside is rectangular.
This enchanting island was frequented by the distinguished playwright John Millington Synge. Teach Synge is the house where Synge stayed on the island every summer from 1898 to 1902. It was here he is said to have got inspiration for his plays The Playboy of the Western World, Riders to the Sea, and many of his other works from stories he heard while on Inis Meáin. The house has been restored to its original condition, and has been open to the public since August 1999. Another notable site on the island is Cathaoir Synge (Synge's Chair) which was the writer's favourite place on the island, overlooking Inis Mór and the Atlantic.