Woman dies on Skellig Michael


A woman has died of head injuries after falling on Skellig Michael off the Co Kerry coast this morning.

The 57-year-old  tourist from New York was walking on the Unesco World Heritage Site with her husband at about 11.30am when she tripped on a path  and fell about 10 metres.

She was tended to by a doctor and nurse who were visiting the 213 metre-tall island but later died of her injuries. Her body was taken to Kerry General Hospital for a postmortem examination.

Last May, Joseph Gaughan (77) from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, lost his footing while descending the same path and fell 10 metres, sustaining serious head injuries from which he later died.

Mr Gaughan was with his wife and two family members when he fell.

At an inquest into his death, Kerry Coroner Terence Casey recommended that a warning sign be erected on the site.

About 600 stone steps, which do not have safety rails, lead to the summit of the rock which contains monastic remains dating to the 7th century. The rock, which is 12 kilometres off the Co Kerry coast, receives about 11,000 visitors each year.