St. MacDara, the patron saint of seafarers, is believed to have built the small church on the island in the sixth century. After mass, the locally crafted boats, known as Galway Hookers, bow their sails in the direction of the church three times to bless the year ahead.
Mac Dara’s Island- a small island off the coast of Carna – was home in the sixth century to St. Mac Dara, Connemara’s most respected saint. He built a one-room chapel here, with a dirt floor, walls of huge stones and a steep stone roof.
...A long tradition of pilgrimage to the church on the island exists on this day for Mass and celebration (people also take picnics and go for strolls around the island if the weather is good). The local fishermen give of their time and their boats by ferrying people out to the island in the morning and back in the afternoon. Others make their way out by canoe, currach and hooker.
NYTimes story of the abandoned islands off the west coast of Ireland.