In an attempt to clampdown on out-of-season landings on Skellig Michael, a new permit scheme is to be introduced for boats going to the UNESCO World Heritage site. The number of permits will remain at 15, but the decision to advertise the scheme goes against the hereditary rights granted to traditional operators. The Office of Public Works says the scheme is to end anti-competitive practices and alleged safety deficiencies. Skellig boatman Owen Walsh disputes such claims. Mr Walsh says the boatmen have a fine health and safety record. He says no one has ever come to harm’s way between the time they embarked on a Skellig boat and got off it. He says Skellig boatmen are having a meeting tomorrow night to discuss the OPW’s plans.