| 16.1°C Dublin

Skellig Michael may now reopen next month as OPW in talks with boatmen

Close

Tourists look out at Skellig Michael in the distance. Photo by Pól Ó Conghaile

Tourists look out at Skellig Michael in the distance. Photo by Pól Ó Conghaile

Tourists look out at Skellig Michael in the distance. Photo by Pól Ó Conghaile

Skellig Michael, which has been closed for the summer due to the Covid-19 pandemic, may now reopen to visitors next month.

The Office of Public Works (OPW) is in discussions with local boatmen about the prospect of a late-season opening.

The Unesco world heritage site, which was the location for filming of a recent 'Star Wars' trilogy, is normally open to visitors from mid-May until late September each year.

However, the monastic site was closed to visitors amid concerns about visitors being in close quarters on the sea journey over to the island as well as on the narrow steps and paths on the island.

Kerry Fine Gael TD Brendan Griffin said the OPW was "currently in the process of reassessing the position".

This was in light of the changed approach to reopening business and tourist locations by the Government in the past few weeks, Mr Griffin said.

Just 15 boats are licensed to land on the Skellig and most operate from the village of Portmagee, with some also coming from Valentia Island and Ballinskelligs.

Close

The Skelligs

The Skelligs

The Skelligs

Passenger numbers are limited to 12 on the large boats and just 180 people can land on the island on any one day in normal times.

The review now under way is focusing on the risk analysis previously carried out and will assess whether there have been any significant alterations to the position which might allow a late-season opening.

OPW Minister Patrick O'Donovan said the OPW was consulting the boatmen because they were responsible for passenger safety on the minimum 40-minute journey to the island.

Daily Digest Newsletter

Get ahead of the day with the morning headlines at 7.30am and Fionnán Sheahan's exclusive take on the day's news every afternoon, with our free daily newsletter.

This field is required

A decision is expected by late July.

Close

Fans dressed as Chewbacca and Darth Vader approach Skellig Michael. Picture: PA

Fans dressed as Chewbacca and Darth Vader approach Skellig Michael. Picture: PA

Fans dressed as Chewbacca and Darth Vader approach Skellig Michael. Picture: PA


Most Watched





Privacy