Displaying items by tag: rockfall
#SkelligMichael - Skellig Michael’s opening for summer visitors on 14 May has been cast into doubt by concerns over of a number of unstable large rocks following a rockfall discovered earlier this month.
Safety contractors and OPW staff are currently assessing the situation at the Unesco World Heritage site, a major location in the upcoming blockbuster movie Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
But according to The Irish Times, the filming activity and increased visitor numbers are not to blame for the damage on what’s been dubbed ‘Star Wars Island’ — more likely caused by heavy winter storms and burrowing by the island’s rabbits.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, evidence of a “deeply worrying” rockfall was found during pre-season checks by OPW staff on Friday 7 April.
The Unesco World Heritage site is due to open for visitors next month, with big numbers expected in the wake of its featuring in the new Star Wars movies.
OPW senior conservation architect Grellan Rourke said that if some of the “very large” rocks had come down on top of the huts “there would have been a significant threat to anyone inside”.
Experts will examine the rock slopes in question, with no confirmation of whether this would affect Skellig Michael’s opening date for visitors.
RTÉ News has more on the story HERE.
Rockfalls on Sceilig Mhichíl, (also known as Skellig Michael or Great Skellig Island), Co. Kerry have caused a breach to the Lighthouse Road wall, which forms the sole access to the monastic site from the island’s landing. The damage is reported as being significant and extensive, and the steep ground above the roadway may be subject to further rock falls following the heavy rains that have occurred over the winter months. This must be examined and repaired as required before public access is permitted.
The news was issued by The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport to all Masters, Skippers, Seafarers, Fishers, Passenger Boat Operators and Owners and Users of Recreational Craft in Marine Notice this afternoon.
The OPW has advised that the island remains in a highly unstable and extremely dangerous condition and should, under no circumstances, be accessed by anyone other than the OPW project team and their contractors involved with the assessment of the damage and repairs. Any unauthorised persons landing on the island before the necessary repairs have been carried out would be exposed to considerable risk.
The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport wishes to advise that, until further notice, persons should not be landed on the island from any vessel without the express consent of the OPW.
This Marine Notice will be cancelled at such time that the OPW advise that the repairs have been completed and the island has been re-opened to the public.