Skellig Michael Ready for Visitors

Skellig Michael, known to Star Wars fans as Ahch-To, is now open for the 2019 season and they are ready for your visit.

Since the Stars Wars effect kicked in following the release of The Force Awakens in December 2015, Skellig Michael has seen thousands make the crossing from various harbours to see the monastic stone dwellings where Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) and Daisy Ridley (Rey) shot key scenes.

In 2016, 14,648 people made a crossing which, dependent on sea conditions, can take up to 90 minutes.

Last year that figure had swollen to 16,792 visitors and this year it is expected to grow again.

With so many feet making what the OPW warns can be a hazardous trek, the job of keeping them as safe as possible gets bigger by the year.

Of this spring’s work, the spokesman said: “Firstly general maintenance has to be undertaken on the island’s accommodation as it suffers greatly during the winter period.

“In addition, this year, extra work had to be undertaken to upgrade some of this accommodation. After an inspection of the island, necessary works are identified and undertaken for health and safety reasons.

“Crews carried out clearance of steps/walkways where visitors are accommodated, clearance from the pier of all algae and growth and consolidation of loose masonry.”

The site is expected to remain open until 30 September, which is the final day for visitors, after which it will formally close until the 2020 season.