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Fisher Skerries
Sceairrighan a'fhìsear
—  Pòrseachd  —
Fisher Skerries.jpg
View from Prìom-sgèirr with Sgèirr Taoiseall in the background.
Flag of Fisher Skerries.png
Flag
Nickname(s): The Skerries
Motto: Tòirc ach mheòsuill
Few but proud
Sceairrighan a'fhìsear.jpg
Location of the Fisher Skerries
Country Rom
Government
 • Mayor Emàinnuall Càillaghan
 • Governing body Còinneig a' Sceairrighan a'fhìsear
Population
 • Total 1,238
 • Rank 17
Demonym Fisher
Fìseirr
Time zone SCT (UTC-1)
Postal code 43
The Fisher Skerries (Romic: Sceairrighan a'fhìsear, pronunciation: [ˈskʲɛriɧʷən ɐˈçi:ʃər]) is an island group and a municipality in the Eòlannan Dàiteich province in Rom in the Seafaring Confederation. It consists of the islands Prìom-sgèirr, Sgèirr Sgèillic, and Sgèirr Taoiseall, as well as a strip of land on Prìom-eòlann, as well as countless smaller skerries. With 1,238 inhabitants it is the third most populated municipality in the province.

Its main settlement is Sceairrigh an ùnnidh.

Etymology

Both the English "Fisher Skerries" and Romic "Sceairrighan a'fhìsear" are derived from Old Norse sker af fiskr, meaning "skerries of fish" (sker meaning "skerry", af meaning "of", and fiskr meaning "fish"). Contrary to what the English name may suggest, the island is not actually named after fishers, but rather after the marine animals. The English name is an anglicisation of the Romic name, which in itself is a bastardised form of the original Old Norse name.

Why exactly the vikings who inhabited the skerries named them thus, is unknown. Hypotheses include that these islands were known to be a good fishing spot, or that there simply was a lot of fish present in the sea surrounding the skerries.

History

The area of the current municipality has historically been known as the Holy County of the Monks, or the Cònteachd Naof nan Mannacan. The monks, having inhabited the Skellyge Monastery since the 9th century A.D. and having survived many attempts of plunder due to the monastery's isolated and defencible location, were granted their own territory under John the Beardless in 1334, with the head monk being given the title of Holy Earl of the Monks.

The county retained its unusual status well into the 19th century, even under the rule of the English and British monarchs and following the secession from the United Kingdom in 1759. Its status came to an end in 1865, when the Republic of Rom was reorganised and the Holy County became a democratic municipality that was no longer under the direct control of the monks.

Politics

The parish of the Fisher Skerries maintains a system of direct democracy through an island meeting under the leadership of the Mayor of Fisher Skerries, currently Emàinnuall Càillaghan. The island meeting convenes every second Thursday of the month. Citizens living in the Prìom-eòlann townlands are also eligible to participate in the island meeting.

Fisher Skerries sends three representatives to the House of Islands in Minais na Mara, and one additional member via its stretch of land on Prìom-eòlann. As of 2015, the three representatives are Lydia Lòim for Main Skerry, Drùidhaibh a'Càillaighuaibhrigh for Skellyge Skerry, and Moira Teaseach for Tessle Skerry.

Fisher Skerries is divided into twenty-eight townlands. Seventeen of these are located on Main Skerry, five on Prìom-eòlann, four on Tessle Skerry, and two on Skellyge Skerry. In 2008, the townland of Sgèirr Maoillean was left uninhabited after its sole remaining settler passed away, and was thus incorporated into the townland of Nòirdhe.

Geography

Fisher Skerries has eight official settlements:

The parish is divided amongst three general landscape zones: the Main Island grasslands and moors, the Main Skerry grasslands and moors, and the Outer Skerries rocklands. Covered with a pitchstone relief overall, the majority of the islands are devoid of any vegetation other than grasses and heather with only few exceptions, most notable of which the Balckwick Bluff on Main Skerry. On the south of Main Skerry runs the Blodhòirnàmh River, which meanders wildly and culminates in a wide river delta.

The islands are home to a large population of Manx shearwaters (approx. 120,000 nesting pairs), with most of the uninhabited outer skerries providing nestling space to fulmars. Main Skerry is also home to a small population of fox, which have their homes mostly in the small woodlands and in low hedges at the side of the roads.

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