Skellig Michael Visitor Season Delayed

The opening of Skellig Michael for the summer season has been postponed by the Office of Public Works (OPW)

The OWP is the Government agency responsible for the upkeep of Skellig Michael and for the running of all national monuments.

The OPW blamed the delay on “poor weather conditions”. A statement said the Office had been unable to safely land members of staff on the island to make necessary pre-season safety checks.

Skellig Michael, which has featured in Star Wars, was expected to be open to visitors from Saturday May 18, 2019.

An OPW spokesperson said: “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.

“Normally, we need approximately 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.”
OPW workmen were able to access the island for a number of days late last week and worked over the weekend to make the necessary preparations.

“However, with poor weather forecast for the next few days, OPW has been frustrated in their efforts to go back to the Island for the present and, while conditions may improve late in the week, it is clear that the scheduled opening date next Saturday has to be deferred,” the spokesperson continued.

“Skellig Michael is an extremely challenging environment and the safety of our visitors must remain a priority.

“We are working as rapidly as the conditions allow and will hope to announce a new date as soon as possible, once the current spell of poor weather has passed and the necessary safety preparations are fully completed,” they added.