Councillor says continued closure of Skellig Michael blow to local economy

The monastic Island, Skellig Michael founded in the 7th century, for 600 years the island was a centre of monastic life for Irish Christian monks. The Celtic monastery, which is situated almost at the summit of the 230-metre-high rock became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. It is one of Europe's better known but least accessible monasteries.Photo:Valerie O'Sullivan

South Kerry is reeling from the decision to not allow visitors on to Skellig Michael for the remainder of the season.

That’s according to Fianna Fáil councillor Michael Cahill.

The OPW announced on Thursday that the island would remain closed for the rest of the year.

Councillor Cahill describes the decision as a “ferocious blow to the local economy” as trips to Skellig are “the sole source of income for many boat operators in the locality”.

The Rossbeigh based councillor says he understands the need for caution in the current climate, but feels with social distancing and the wearing of face masks, trips could have been facilitated.