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Skellig Michael is a rock island located some 15 kilometres off the Kerry coast. One of Ireland’s three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, this spectacular peak is home to tens of thousands of seabirds, among them; fulmars, gannets, guillemots, manx shearwaters, puffins, razorbills, guillemots, storm petrels, gannets and more.
Located off the southwestern corner of Ireland, west of the great headlands of Bolus and Bray, these dark dramatic peaks that pierce the ocean as pyramidal islands draw a powerful reaction for all who see them. Deemed by many to be an ancient power point and linked to the energitic leylines of the earth (Michael Leyline), today, the rock island is renowned for the ruins of an early-Christian monastery.
First built by an incredible bunch of hermetical monks in the 6th century, the community of aesthtics remained on Skellig until the 12th century or so though the site has continued to be a place of pilgrimage for traveller from around the globe. Today, the remnants of the truly extraordinary monastery, elaborate stairs climbing the steep faces for hundres of metres from different sides of the island to that enclosure and it’s other-worldly South Summit hermitage is without equal in the world.
George Bernard Shaw, writing in 1910:
“But for the magic that takes you out far out of this time and this world, there is Skellig Michael ten miles off the Kerry coast, shooting straight up seven hundred feet sheer out of the Atlantic. Whoever has not stood in the grave-yard on the summit of that cliff among the beehive dwellings and beehive oratory does not know Ireland through and through”.
Skellig Michael is UNESCO world heritage site, rather controversially managed by the Irish Government’s heritage service and shared with the Irish Lighthouse Commission who’s two 19th century lighthouses (closed to the public) are worthy of a journey alone. Landing on Skellig Michael is tighly governed, pricipally by weather and by regulation but for those called to this place, it will surely be a highlight of any trip to Ireland!
The islands, Skellig Lichael and it’s Small Skellig neighbour are bird santuraries of international importance and home to hundreds of thousand of seabirds during the breeding season, among them, Gannets, Puffins, Razorbills, Guillemots, Storm Petrels, Manx Shearwaters and Fulmars.
I tell you the thing does not belong to any world that you and I have lived and worked in: it is part of our dream world.
- Irish play write and Noble literary laureate, George Bernard Shaw (1856 – 1950) after a visit to Skellig Michael on September 17, 1910
Skellig is a sacred place indeed and a site I personally retreat to often with friends and guests, over the years to work, climb, meditate and share in the powerful connections that present there. If I had one day to share with someone in ireland, it would be on Scelig Mhichíl!
- Con Moriarty
“Quite simply, there is no better way to experience the Reeks than with Con Moriarty”
- Sir Chris Bonington
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