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Skellig Island communities fear summer wipeout from phantom menace of virus

'It's a disaster' - tourism is 'bread and butter' to area linked to the 'Star Wars' saga

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Boatmen Fionán Murphy (centre), Pat Joe Murphy (left) and Seanie Murphy have their vessels in dry dock in Valentia, Co Kerry as Covid-19 has shut down their trips to Skellig Michael. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Boatmen Fionán Murphy (centre), Pat Joe Murphy (left) and Seanie Murphy have their vessels in dry dock in Valentia, Co Kerry as Covid-19 has shut down their trips to Skellig Michael. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Boatmen Fionán Murphy (centre), Pat Joe Murphy (left) and Seanie Murphy have their vessels in dry dock in Valentia, Co Kerry as Covid-19 has shut down their trips to Skellig Michael. Photo: Steve Humphreys

In South-west Kerry, they are now praying for the Force to be with them.

Instead of the greatest tourism year in living memory thanks to the Wild Atlantic Way triumph and local 'Star Wars' connections, Ballinskelligs, Portmagee, Cahersiveen and Waterville are facing the grim reality of an entire season being wiped out.

For an area uniquely dependent on the tourism industry, the Covid-19 lockdown represents an economic nightmare of unprecedented proportions.