Decision on re-opening Skellig Michael will be made on Monday


A decision will be made by the OPW on the re-opening of Skellig Michael (Sceilg Mhichíl) on Monday next following a further inspection of the island which has been closed to tourists this week.

he OPW decided to close the UNESCO world heritage site last Monday, June 13 following a significant rock fall on the island. Thankfully no-one was injured when the rock fall occurred, but the island was closed as a safety precaution and to allow the debris to be cleared.  

In the latest update on the re-opening of what is Kerry’s most important and much visited tourist attraction Minster for the OPW Patrick Donovan has said a decision on when the island can re-open will be made after another inspection next week. 

Minister O’Donovan confirmed that an OPW works crew, accompanied by specialist contractors, will visit the island early next week (Monday) in order to carry out this work with a view to re-opening the island to visitors as soon as possible.

The Minister added that ornithological expert, appointed by the Office of Public Works, will supervise the OPW works crew as it surveys the site and prepares it for reopening to visitors. This is specifically to ensure protection of any nesting birds on site.

The latest information was provided to  Fine Gael TD Brendan Griffin, who is hopeful the island can re-open as soon as possible. 

Minister Donovan assured Deputy Griffin that when it is deemed safe to do so, the site will be re-opened to visitors.

The OPW says that this type of natural occurrence is to be expected on occasion, given the location of the island and then unpredictable weather conditions, coupled with the rugged terrain.

However, its closure is a financial blow to the boatmen, who operate to and around the island in South Kerry, given that the season is already short and has only began in recent weeks. 

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