John Lennon’s Island

John Lennon's Islands

Dorinish Island was once belonged to John Lennon; made up of two pieces of land; Dorinish Mór ( Big Dorinish) and Dorinish Beag (Small Dorinish) and the stone bar connecting them. He purchaed the island in 1967 for £1,700.

He bought the island for he and his then wife Cynthia Powell as an island retreat, a place to meditate.

Following that he divorced his then wife and married Yoko Ono. John commissioned an architect to do soil borings and paid for a brightly painted hippie-style caravan to be transported from London to the island as a future holiday home for himself his wife and Julian, his son, then aged four.

When John Lennon left he invited Sid Rawle, King of Hippies to inhabit the island and set up a commune.

Sid along with 25 adults and 1 baby spent two years living on the island in tepee style tents. He later described his experience on the islands as “HEAVEN AND HELL”.

Post would arrive to the island addressed “Hippie Island, Ireland “.

There was also a shack to the side of the island (which can still be seen today) which was used to meditate in the evenings overlooking Clare Island, Mulranny and Achill Beg.

Unexpectedly in 1972 fire destroyed their main supply tent on the island and coupled with infighting and disquiet, the commune disbanded.

Sid Rawle returned to the UK where he went on to be one of the founding members of the Glastonbury Music Festival and set up another commune in the Tipi Valley in Wales.

On 8th December 1980 John Lennon was assassinated by David Chapman outside the Dakota in New York. Yoko Ono sold the island for nearly £30,000 and she donated the proceeds to an Irish orphanage.

What John had dreamed as an island paradise never came to materialise. 

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