Priest airlifted from Skellig

A 77-year-old priest was airlifted from Skellig Michael when he took ill during a visit on Monday.

In a dramatic fog-bound rescue, the elderly priest was winched aboard the Shannon Coastguard Helicopter and transferred to Kerry General Hospital in Tralee where he was treated following his ordeal.

The Irish Coastguard's Valentia centre was paged with the emergency at around 1.55pm on Monday and they immediately tasked the Shannon Helicopter given the steep and relatively inaccessible terrain. Emergency services personnel mounted the response in the likelihood the priest's illness was of a coronary nature, however, this was quickly discounted on examination of the man.

"It was tricky in that it was quite a hazardous winching procedure due to the fog, but the pilots did extremely well and thankfully the priest recovered from his illness quickly," Valentia Coastguard Divisional Controller John Draper told The Kerryman.