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The Aran Islands (Irish: Oileáin Árann) are a group of three islands located at the mouth of Galway Bay, on the west coast of Ireland. The largest island is Inishmore (Irish: Árainn (Mhór) or Inis Mór), the middle or second-largest is Inishmaan (Inis Meáin / Inis Meadhóin) and the smallest and most eastern is Inisheer (Inis Thiar or Inis Oírr / Inis Oirthir). Although the anglicisations are still used on maps alongside the Irish, the Irish forms of the names are perhaps more frequently used nowadays. Irish is the spoken language on all three islands.
-- Anonymous User
This name could possibly come from the Basque word "Aran", meaning valley.
The name of the islands comes from the Gaelic Áru, gen. Árann, dat. Árainn, meaning kidney, and refers to their shape.
(see The Celtic Place Names of Scotland by W. F. Watson; or this website
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