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Disappointment as Skellig Michael to remain closed



The Office of Public Works (OPW) has confirmed that the Skellig Michael World Heritage Site will remain closed and not open to visitors in 2020 because of COVID–19 concerns and the consequent risks to both staff and visitors.

The OPW had undertaken, following the original closure decision in early May, to review the position in the light of changing circumstances and where the Government had announced a relaxation of certain measures designed to reopen tourism attractions in particular. Having consulted with a number of parties both inside the OPW’s Heritage Service and externally, officials yesterday (Thursday) announced that it would not be feasible to open the famous island site for the remainder of the scheduled visitor season as the risks involved in both the boat voyage and the visitor experience on the island itself cannot be addressed sufficiently to guarantee the safety of both visitors and OPW staff.

“Opening of this important heritage site had originally been scheduled to take place on May 15, but that was obviously cancelled during the height of the lockdown," OPW Heritage Commissioner John Mc Mahon said. "What we are announcing this week is the result of our own internal review which was designed to see if things had changed sufficiently for us to perhaps announce a late season and allow public visits during part of August and September at least. Having considered all the issues however, we have arrived at the conclusion that this is not feasible and Skellig Michael cannot be made safe from COVID-19 for either visitors or staff. Regretfully therefore, we have to confirm that the Skellig Michael site will not reopen for the remainder of the 2020 season and we must instead plan for a resumption in 2021, when we will hopefully be able to accommodate visitors at the site again.”

Normally, the Skellig Michael visitor season finishes at the end of September with experience showing that weather and sea conditions in October are considerably poorer and the site becomes generally inaccessible. The OPW has assessed however that there are multiple risks both in terms of the boat trip and the visitor path on the island itself and it is not feasible to reopen for even a limited period in August and September. Before reaching their decision, OPW consulted with local boatmen who are responsible for bringing visitors to the island and investigated with them the possible changes that might be made in order to make the visitor experience safer. However, it was clear that the scale of the challenge was such that the proposition was not feasible and the original decision to close for the entire season was reconfirmed. OPW workmen continue to remain on the island to carry out essential maintenance and other works on the island and its monuments. They will continue to travel to the island until the end of September to carry out their normal programme of works.


[caption id="attachment_25257" align="alignleft" width="200"] Councillor Michael Cahill[/caption]

Kerry, and South Kerry in particular, is reeling from this latest decision to not allow visitors onto Skellig Michael for the remainder of the season says Councillor Michael Cahill.

“The refusal to allow the reopening of Skellig Michael to visitors this year is a ferocious blow to the local economy on top of everything else that has occurred. This is the sole source of income for many boatmen in the locality. Not alone that but the whole local economy is geared towards providing services to those who are drawn to the area to visit this iconic monastic settlement.”

He said that everyone understands the pandemic restrictions but it’s like attending football games etc., the boat trip takes place in the open air and with proper distancing and the wearing of face masks, should be as safe if not safer than attending a supermarket or restaurant.

“I am disappointed for all those whose livelihoods are so heavily affected and worry greatly about the knock-on affects,” he added.


The Skellig Experience Centre, located in Portmagee, is also a significant destination for visitors locally and is currently open. Additionally, local boat sightseeing trips continue to be available and are dealing with visitors currently.

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Detox Wrap will leave you feeling energised

It may be the last few weeks of the holidays but, it is no better time treat yourself to a body detox wrap. This wrap is suitable for males and […]




It may be the last few weeks of the holidays but, it is no better time treat yourself to a body detox wrap.

This wrap is suitable for males and females.
This wrap will boost your energy levels and make you feel like yourself again. Having loads of BBQs and nights out or feeling bloated and sluggish, unmotivated.
This wrap is a great way to boost energy by increasing lymphatic drainage, which helps the body’s natural detox system to release bad toxins. By aiding the lymphatic system and increasing the negative, harmful toxins. Your body will immediately start to feel better, more motivated, and increased energy. Your skin will feel better and bring your glow back.

The process is having sea clay applied all over the body, followed by bandages wrapped in a specific way to lift and firm the skin and finally you are tucked up in a heated blanket….. to sweat out the negative toxins. following the treatment, you have a three-day detox, no tea, coffee, fried fatty foods, fizzy drinks, processed foods or even a shower to leave the active clay and get to work on the lymphatic system.

This is a seriously great treatment, that really works if you follow the process. As the heat from the blanket helps to open your pores on the body the sea clay can go into the deep layers of the skin, when you unwrap the clay is trapped in the skin and its ingredients get to work.

Bentonite has excellent drainage properties for full detox and skin clarification.

Magnesium sulphate stimulates peripheral skin circulation, exfoliating and anti-inflammatory.
Magnesium Chloride has valuable mineral salt and permits cellular balance, combats stress and fluid retention, and has anti-bacterial properties.

Zinc oxide, bacterium properties and anti-inflammatory.

Sodium Chloride detoxifies tissues and tightens the skin.

They work best the longer they are left on the skin and the longer you detox. I wouldn’t claim a 2-hour treatment can do amazing results without the homework. The clay isn’t dirty looking on the skin, it looks more like a cloud of chalky dust on the outer skin, the active properties have been absorbed into the skin.
The skin may feel a little different while the clay is working, but the results are worth it. It’s a great treatment after weight loss, pregnancy, liposuction or just re-energises you as a whole.
for more information or to make an appointment call Jill at 064-6632966


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Puck Goat removed from platform in searing heat

Organisers of Puck Fair have taken King Puck down from his platform to protect the wild mountain goat from the heat. Today mark’s day two of the three-day fair in […]




Organisers of Puck Fair have taken King Puck down from his platform to protect the wild mountain goat from the heat.

Today mark’s day two of the three-day fair in Killorglin town. As part of the fair’s tradition a wild mountain goat presides over the town from his tall platform over the course of the three days.

Organisers employ a dedicated vet to look after the goat and a team of experienced goat handlers are also on duty for the duration of the festival.

There is also a temperature monitoring device on the platform.

As temperatures hit 29 degrees today (Thursday), the vet and handlers decided it was safer for the goat to be removed from the platform for the rest of the day.

“He is currently resting in the shade,” spokesperson Marcella O’Connor told the Killarney Advertiser. “The handlers were monitoring him in case it got too hot, the decision was made to take him down, and the vet says he is happy.”

A decision will be made tomorrow (Friday) on the goat’s return to the platform for the final day of the fair.


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