History of the island
Historically the island formed part of the O’Driscoll Clan’s territory and was known as Inis Ui Drisceoil or Inis an Oidhre. Hence the name which means “O’Driscoll’s Island” or “Heir” island. The English version of the name has been traditionally misspelt as “Hare” since 1694 at least. It is widely believed that one of the O’Driscoll castles was sited on “An Dún” (now called the Doon) at the most westerly point of Heir Island. Other O’Driscoll castles were Dún an Óir (Fort of the Gold) on Cape Clear, Dún na Séad (Fort of the Jewels) in Baltimore, Dún na Long (Fort of the Ships) in Sherkin and several others on Ringarogy and Inisbeg Islands, near Loch Hyne, Oldcourt and Castlehaven.