One of the things that makes Tory special is the fact that the island has its own king, Rí Thoraigh, who is elected by the islanders. The current king, Patsy Dan Mac Ruadhri, meets every ferry at the quay, driving up alongside in his royal Mercedes. Please note the personalised numberplate.
The hub of island life is an Baile Thiar, the west village, where the hotel/pub, cafe and a couple of shops are located, as well as the ferry dock. Despite the island's relative remoteness, the inhabitants are still proud Donegal supporters, which is why so many of the buildings are painted green and gold, the colours of the county football team.
Happily, the green and gold buildings blend well with the island's natural colour scheme.
In Celtic mythology, Tory is famous as the island where Balor of the Evil Eye cast his daughter Eithne into prison because it was foretold that her son would kill him. As these things usually worked out, Eithne still managed to bear a son who did, in fact, kill his grandfather. Since I feel a certain solidarity with all Eithnes, I'm glad she had the last word.
We walked to the far end of the island, to Balor's fort (the cliffs on the east end of the island which have the remains of a prehistoric settlement) passing several currachs on the way. I liked this one and the abandoned machinery - some kind of winch for pulling in boats? - beside it.
*Welcome to Tory