Islandmagee (from Irish: Oileán MhicAodha meaning "MacAodha's island" - anciently known as Rinn Seimhne or Inis Seimhne) is a peninsula on the east coast of County Antrim, located between the towns of Larne and Carrickfergus. It is part of the Larne Borough Council area and is a sparsely populated rural community with a long history since the mesolithic period.
As part of an agricultural crop rotation programme of old beans were grown to supply nitrogen to the soil. "Bean Eaters" became a nickname for the people of Islandmagee.
It is the site of Northern Ireland's main power station Ballylumford.
The Bissett family held the tenancy of the peninsula in Elizabeth I's reign, their rent being an annual offering of goshawks, birds which bred on the rugged white chalk cliffs nearby.
Islandmagee is the home of the Ballylumford Dolmen. Known locally as the "Druid's Altar", this dolmen could be 4000 years old, or could be the remains of an even earlier passage grave. The dolmen consists of four upright stones, with a heavy capstone and a fallenstone within the structure. This may have been put there to block the entrance to the tomb.
Neolithic houses have been excavated at Ballyharry, on the Islandmagee peninsula. Finds included Neolithic pottery, flint arrowheads, javelin heads, polished stone axe fragments and quernstones.
Settlements and townlands:
The peninsula is part of the parish of Islandmagee. The boundaries of the parish and the peninsula match. Like the rest of Ireland, this parish is split into a number of townlands (bailte fearainn), whose names are derived from the Irish language. There are 25 townlands on Islandmagee and two small settlements.
The following is a list of these townlands, with the settlements bolded:
Ballylumford (Irish: Baile an Longfoirt)
Ballystrudder (Irish: Baile Strudair)
Mullaghboy (Irish: an Mullach Buí)
Portmuck (Irish: Port Muc)
Islandmagee F.C. plays in the Northern Amateur Football League Premier Division.
Two golf clubs, Whitehead Golf Club (18 holes) and Larne Golf Club (9 holes) lie on the peninsula, as do two horseriding centres - Rainbow Equestrian Centre and Islandmagee Riding Centre.
Fishing continues to be the most common sport practiced in the region.