photo of Skellig by Eoin Mac Lochlainn

The Gods were smiling on us that day, long ago when we travelled out to the windswept island of Sceilg Mhichíl (or Skellig Michael)eleven kilometres off the coast of Kerry.  What a special place!  Sacred. Unique. Awesome.

It is not known when the monks first arrived on the island.  The first definite reference to monastic activity is a record of the death of Suibhne of Skellig, dating from the 8th century, but St. Fionán is thought to have founded the monastery here in the 6th century. But I remember well when Fionnuala and I clambered onto the rock and stood in silence, looking up at its great height and trying to imagine what it must've been like for the monks, risking life and limb to establish a place of prayer and retreat 'far from the madding crowd.' Then we made our way up the rugged stairs...

photo of Skellig by Eoin Mac Lochlainn

photo of Skellig by Eoin Mac Lochlainn

photo of Skellig by Eoin Mac Lochlainn

Sceilg Mhicíl is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of only three such sites in Ireland, the others being Newgrange and the Giant's Causeway.  This is a serious responsibility, demanding a serious engagement by the Irish state with the spiritual, aesthetic, scholarly and environmental aspects of this unique island.

Mór mo náir - Mo chlann féin do dhíol a máthair - The Skelligs are not a film set!

photo of Skellig by Eoin Mac Lochlainn

http://emacl.com/

http://www.heritageireland.ie/en/south-west/skelligmichael/

http://www.skelligexperience.com/skellig-michael/

Views: 694

Tags: History of Ireland, Monastic Sites, Natural History, Preservation

Comment by Claire Fullerton on December 24, 2015 at 10:20am

Awesome photographs!


Admin
Comment by Joe Gannon on December 24, 2015 at 2:36pm

For anyone who has seen, or is going to see, the new "Star Wars" movie, the last scenes in the movie were filmed on Sceilg Mhichíl. 

Comment by Eoin Mac Lochlainn on December 26, 2015 at 10:23am

Thanks for the comments Joe Gannon and Claire Fullerton. Hope you have a lovely Christmas season, eoin


Heritage Partner
Comment by That's Just How It Was on December 28, 2015 at 10:08am

Lovely article , 

Comment by michael dunne on December 28, 2015 at 11:04am

Mór mo náir - Mo chlann féin do dhíol a máthair - The Skelligs are not a film set! 

Am not sure I agree with these sentiments which I understand to be ...my great shame-my own family would sell their mother-The Skelligs is not a film set!

Hoping my interpretation is wrong as I believe this to be a wonderful exposure of one of Irelands greatest heritage sites. We can be justly proud and thankful that a spectacular film has highlighted this beautiful and lonesome island rock five miles out to sea.

Happy New Year and may the force be with you!

Comment by michael dunne on December 29, 2015 at 6:52am

Tá an bród orm agus bo chóir go mbeidh bród ortsa freisin.

Comment by michael dunne on December 29, 2015 at 6:56am

You have little to be 'naire' about. If you want something to feel shame about there are far sadder things going on here than skellin Michael being used as a film set which shows off one of Irelands best monastic settlements to the world. Inspiring agus ta buiochas orm!

Comment by Eoin Mac Lochlainn on December 31, 2015 at 10:24am

Hello Michael, thanks for your comments, I was just thinking: I wouldn't like my child to be saying: that's where the force awakened, or whatever... I would prefer it if he knew the true story of Skellig - but now that the film is made, well what's he more likely to say... :-(  Slán go fóill, eoin

Comment by michael dunne on January 9, 2016 at 9:50am

Hello Eoin,

Perhaps when your child broaches the subject, you might see it as an opportunity to explain to him that everything is not as it seems..."Ní mar a síltear bítear" It opens up endless possibilities to cultivate and foster a healthy enquiring mind and anchors you as a positive influence. The damage we mostly subscribe to in the traditions of happy children and Santa Claus have to be addressed later in the childs life, sometimes with upsetting and long term consequences to issues like trust.  Jean Jacques Rousseau while he had serious issues regarding his responsibilities to his children, wrote an excellent treatise on education and how to rear the child perfectly!? A primary concept was not to precondition the childs thought processes and only offer answers as the child asked the question.

Unemployment is having a devastating effect on Irelands youth in todays world. We can see the Starwars as a positive, being five miles out to sea as one of the few ways the unemployed or the poor might get to see this monastic wonder. Newgrange and Giants Causeway would suffer considerably greater damage through natural footfall, visitors and so on. I dont hear anyone taking issue with these sites.

Happy New Year

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