Skellig Michael to reopen as tourists are welcomed back to the jewel of Munster which has been closed for weeks

After being closed by the Office of Public Works (OPW) in early June, Skellig Michael in Kerry is set to reopen to visitors.

On June 13, a “slide” meant that the Great Skellig was closed to the public until further notice. Although there were no casualties, the island was closed for a fortnight while the debris was cleared.

The OPW has now said the island is expected to reopen next week.

In a statement released on Friday evening, they said: “Since the rockslide…the Office of Public Works has been working hard to advance investigations and safety measures to restore safe access to Sceilg Mhichíl as soon as possible,

“Specialist teams are on hand to visually assess and remove debris and we hope to welcome visitors back on Saturday July 2.

“The reopening date is, of course, subject to weather conditions remaining favorable.”

They added that the remote location of the Skelligs “creates many problems as an operational visitation site”.



Skellig Michael Monastery

The islands lie more than 11 kilometers off the coast of Kerry in the Atlantic Ocean.

The OPW said that in addition to site accessibility, security was an important factor.

“Throughout the more than three decades since the OPW began providing visitor access, the safety of the visiting public and our staff working on Sceilg Mhichíl has been our priority at all times,

“In all rockfall events, however minor, our expert-led investigations must be very comprehensive.”

Minister responsible for the Office of Public Works, Patrick O’Donovan, TD, said the OPW was working to open the site to the public “as soon as possible while strictly adhering to all environmental and other legal obligations. imposed on that date”. UNESCO World Heritage Site which is, at the same time, a sanctuary for breeding seabirds.



Skelligs Boat Ecotour

He continued: Sceilg Mhichíl is one of Ireland’s most iconic heritage sites and plays an important role in the local tourist economy…we look forward to the reopening of Sceilg Mhichíl in early July so visitors can once again enjoy safe access to the island this summer in addition to other beautiful South Kerry attractions.”

The reopening will be good news for tourists who want to visit the tourist attraction in Kerry.

Tours travel to the Skelligs during the summer, with the option of circumnavigating the islands by boat or venturing on foot on Skellig Michael – from July 2 this year.

The island attracts sci-fi fans looking to take a peek at where scenes from the Star Wars trilogy were filmed.

Skellig Michael acts as a backdrop in two of the films, most recently for the second installment of the Star Wars Episode VIII trilogy “The Last Jedi” which was released in December 2017.



Star Wars scenes shot at Skellig Michael

Before that, Episode VII “The Force Awakens” was filmed on the islands in 2014.

The Skelligs feature prominently at the end of the film where the audience is reintroduced to the original Star Wars hero, Luke Skywalker.

It also attracts visitors who want to bask in the beauty of the historic site and watch the birds.

Skellig Michael, the largest of the islands, was home to one of Ireland’s earliest monastic settlements. And tourists can climb the 670 steps of the ancient monastery of Great Skellig.

The islands are also known for their wealth of birdlife, especially the puffins which arrive at Lesser Skelligs in the spring.

The islands are also the second largest gannet colony in the world. Over 25,000 black and white seabirds inhabit the Skellig Islands.

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