The Office of Public Works says it will defend robustly any challenges to plans to open the Skellig boat permits to public competition.
That process would be extended to the remaining permits next year.
Boatmen are unhappy with the proposal and may consider legal action.
Principal Officer Heritage Section of the OPW, Frank Shalvey says experience in the local seas around Skellig will be paramount to awarding permits and they won’t interfere with arrangements on boats as this is not their role.
Mr Shalvey says they are concerned about out of season travel to the island adding that the OPW can’t maintain staff on Skellig for an extended season:
Cover photo: By Jerzy Strzelecki (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons