Rockall is a small rocky islet located 230 nautical miles off the coast of Ireland. Known as An Creag Rocail (The Roaring/Tearing Rock) in Gaeilg. The lonely islet has figured prominently in British and Irish folklore for centuries. St. Perran (Kemr) and St. Brendan (Ireland), both navigators, are said to have visited the island during their journeys to the lands beyond the sea (the shrine situated on the Ledge is attributed to St. Perran). It was annexed by Scotland in 1955 but conflicting claims have made the issue somewhat a thorn in the side of the Scots Parliament. The mocking "Rockall National Anthem" added insult to injury and Scotland abandoned its claim in 2000. The island was subsequently annexed by Ireland in 2004 and is currently under the jurisdiction of the Coastguard Service who maintain a navigational beacon to prevent accidents at sea.
It is uninhabited save for a small number of periwinkles and seabirds (notably fulmars, kittiwakes, gannets, and guillemots, the latter two of which have been know to successfully breed upon the island in calm Summers). The surrounding area, including the An Sgeir Rocail (or Darwin's Mounds in English), a coral reef close by are protected as nature reserves.
The annexation of Rockall in 2004 by Ireland ends decades of dispute between Ireland, Scotland, and the Scandinavian Realm over who had control over the islet and the surrounding shelf. Soon after the annexation, a team of scientists discovered the reefs and the area was made a reserve.
The official claim made in 1955 by Scotland was formally renounced on 31 December, 2005. The plaque commemorating the annexation for the Scottish Crown will remain on the island.
The fleet set sail for Rockall,
To free the isle of Rockall,
From fear of foreign foe.
We sped across the planet,
To find this lump of granite,
One rather startled Gannet;
In fact, we found Rockall.
So, praise the brave Bell-bottoms,
Who did see Albion's Peril,
And answered to her call,
We've no king that is our own,
The books of history have shown,
Why should we flinch or falter,
When Scotland's got Rockall.