Eleven lucky MKO staff had the pleasure of being introduced to the spectacular Skellig Michael last week by the renowned archaeologist and scholar Michael Gibbons. We all headed to Portmagee, Co Kerry on the Sunday, had dinner and a few drinks Sunday evening (and night) and headed to the boat early Monday morning. The ocean swell was brewing and the seas choppy for the 12-mile, one-hour journey which meant we had a few casualties on the way. Poor us, it would apparently have taken 10 hours to make the same journey by currach 1,400 years ago when the early Christian monks made their way out to claim the island for the sake of Christendom, and to act as that barrier between the known and unknown worlds.
Although he’s been on the Island dozens of times and discovered one of the pilgrimage tracks a few years ago, Michael Gibbons’ enthusiasm for the place is infectious and his knowledge boundless. A great way to see sites such as these. Another 11 staff will enter into a lottery for next year’s trip which is already booked!
Over the past couple of years MKO staff have been to Inishboffin, Inishturk and the Skelligs with Michael and the trips are amongst the highlight of the year. As well as the Skelligs, next year we’ll again be doing another guided trip for all staff and families, the Burren maybe, we’ll see.
Michael Gibbons’ contact details and possible trips are all outlined on his website: www.walkingireland.com