In July of 1878 the residents of the seaside town of Ballycotton, Co. Cork witnessed something astounding. They gathered on the shore and gazed in wonder at a new island that had suddenly appeared off the coast. They claimed to be able to see various features on the island such as woodlands, mountains and valleys. Several fisherman took to their boats to explore this mysterious island but as they approached the island faded into thin air.
This strange anomaly has also been reported by several other coastal towns along the west coast. Was it a mirage or an illusion? Or could it have been the legendary island of Hy Brasil, the promised land. Sought by Brendan the Navigator, this island is said to be hidden from human eyes and only becomes visible for one day every seven years.