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The Skellig Experience Visitor Centre

Skellig Michael

The Book of the Skelligs

Brian McCarthy, Fexco

Photo taken by Valerie O’Sullivan

On December 9th 2022, we were delighted to launch “The Book of The Skelligs” here at The Skellig Experience Visitor Centre. The night kicked off with some fantastic music and we then heard from some guest speakers including John Sheehan, University College Cork, John O’Halloran, President of UCC and Brian McCarthy founder of Fexco.

Following on from these brilliant guest speakers Paddy Bushe a local poet recited a wonderful programme and Oisín Ó Síocháin performed two incredible pieces on the uileann pipes.

The Book of the Skelligs combines different approaches to deepening our understanding of the islands, combining the perspectives of history, archaeology, cultural geography, oral tradition, literature and natural science. It interprets distinctive features, both physical and human, that shape the unique character of these islands while also exploring their geology, marine and terrestrial life as well as the historical background and cultural setting of Skellig Michael’s monastic remains.

It also considers the impact of the Vikings, and the construction of lighthouses a millennium later. Drawing on appropriate disciplines, the book reveals how a unique cultural landscape was generated by human activities over long periods of time. The editors and contributors have incorporated a wide range of illustrative material including maps, paintings, and photographs throughout the book, many of which have not been published before. It comprises over forty individual chapters and case studies in which the work of academics and independent scholars is combined with that of poets and artists to provide a wide range of perspectives on Skelligs’ distinctive character – both natural and human – during different periods. The aim of the editors is to produce a well-informed, accessible, highly readable, and generously illustrated volume that succeeds in conveying a true sense of the cultural richness and complexity of these remarkable islands. The blend of text and images is an important part of the book, making it both suitable for the general reader and a wide range of teaching programmes.

The Night Sky

Photo taken by Valerie O’Sullivan

The night ended with Majella O’Sullivan a very talented artist presenting a painting  to  John  O’Halloran,

President of University College Cork. Majella’s father Joe Roddy and her grandfather spent many years working in Irish Lighthouses. Her father Joe also spent over 50 years as a Skellig Michael boat operator. The incredible painting is titled “The Night Sky” which is featured in “The Book of the Skelligs” along with many photos taken by the award winning Valerie O’Sullivan.

For more information on how to purchase a copy of “The Book of the Skelligs” please email or call 066 9476306.


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