21/04/11

19.04.11 Skellig Michael seminar hears about investigations, works and discoveries at UNESCO World Heritage site

Jimmy Deenihan T.D., Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, today (19th April 2011) opened a public seminar at Dublin Castle on Skellig Michael, one of Ireland’s two World Heritage properties. The one day seminar entitled “Skellig Michael: Investigation, Discovery, Presentation” attracted in excess of 100 attendees from the local community to academics from the field of heritage and conservation.

The seminar presented an overview of 30 years of work on the early medieval monastic remains on the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Skellig Michael.

Minister Deenihan highlighted the international significance of the island which was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1996. Addressing delegates at the seminar, Minister Deenihan said “the island has fascinated visitors because of its remoteness, the imagination and resilience of the Christian monks who lived there and the fact that it has remained untouched by the modern world.”

“Skellig Michael is a unique place. It has its own atmosphere. The island monuments represent a remarkable human endeavour over centuries of construction and habitation. I would like to pay tribute to all those who have toiled on Skellig Michael, in particular the workmen from the National Monuments depot in Killarney and the guides, who endure the most difficult of conditions in order to protect and preserve this special place.”

On the conservation and research works on the island, which have been in train since the early 1980’s, Minister Deenihan welcomed the expert speakers at the seminar saying “we welcome this opportunity to tap into this resource and satisfy our curiosity for knowledge of the historical significance of the island and the nature of the works carried out there over the years.”

Minister Deenihan encouraged open discussion at the seminar and indicated that over the next few months it is expected that the report on the archaeological excavations on Skellig will be posted on the World Heritage Ireland website (www.worldheritageireland.ie) with a full publication of the works and allied researches following in a number of volumes.

ENDS

Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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