Skelligs to stay closed as weather delays OPW

Simon Brouder

The start of the visiting season on Skellig Michael has been delayed indefinitely by the OPW.

The UNESCO world heritage site was due to open to visitors this weekend but the Office of Public Works said on Monday that recent poor weather and sea conditions had delayed necessary pre-season safety and preparation works.

"Owing to poor weather and sea conditions right throughout March, April and early May, we have only been able to land our works team on the island very briefly to date" said the OPW.

"Normally, we need two to three weeks to check Skellig  Michael for winter storm damage; clear away any debris; provision staff quarters and prepare all visitor areas and the Monastic Monument for the public. 

However, pre-season access this year has been very problematic and we now have a significant backlog of work to deal with," a spokesman said.

While OPW staff were on site for a few days last week forecast poor weather "frustrated" efforts to return. The OPW said it can't provide a date for the island's opening but an announcement will be made as  soon as possible.