Skellig Michael

1. The Faraday entering Ballinskelligs Bay 2. The lower lighthouse on the Skellig Michael 3. The Bull Rock off Dursey Head, where a new lighthouse was built in 1870 4. Landing the shore end of the cable by means of boats and rafts 5. Beehive cells on Skellig Miachael. 1884 engraving from the Bennett Atlantic Cable. Photo by: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images

This small island off the west coast of Ireland recently became a film star, but Skellig Michael has a rich history all its own. An ancient monastery, lighthouses and the island's status as a bird sanctuary all make up its story.

Holly's Research:

  • Bourke, Edward, et al. “SKELLIG MICHAEL, CO. KERRY: THE MONASTERY AND SOUTH PEAK Archaeological stratigraphic report: excavations 1986–2010.” Government of Ireland. Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. 2011.
  • Siggins, Lorna. “Star Wars: Habitats directive ‘breached’ on Skellig Michael.” Irish Times. Dec. 17, 2015.
  • The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. “Old Red Sandstone.” Encyclopædia Britannica.November 19, 2010.
  • “Essential renovation works to begin on Skellig Michael.” Irish Times. Dec. 1, 2013.
  • “SS Marina [+1916].” Wreck Site.
  • “Sceilg Mhichíl.” UNESCO.
  • “Skellig Michael.” World Heritage Ireland.
  • “Skelligs Lighthouse.” Commissioners of Irish Lights.
  • Horn, Walter, et al. “The Forgotten Hermitage of Skellig Michael.” University of California Press. 1990. Accessed online:;brand=ucpress

Topics in this Podcast: 19th century, 9th century, 8th century, monasteries, Irish history