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Catherine Merrigan & Living Among the Puffins on Skellig Michael

10th December 2021
Guide and author Catherine Merrigan on Skellig Michael and hopalong
Guide and author Catherine Merrigan on Skellig Michael and Hopalong

Living on a small island in a cabin with no electricity or running water for five months of the year may not be for everyone, but Skellig Michael's Catherine Merrigan wouldn’t miss a season since she began working as a guide there in the year 2000.

On her first night, she decided she had made a big mistake and would leave next morning. However, a storm blew up, she couldn’t leave for five days and fell in love with the rock and its birdlife.

She learned that there are up to 10,000 breeding pairs of puffins, and that puffins often like to take a break from their partners...which means the relationship thrives.

A Skellig Michael PuffinA Skellig Michael Puffin

“Watching their antics, their playfulness...I never get tired,” she says. She is enthralled by the kittiwakes, guillemots, razorbills, gannets, rock pipits and even a golden eagle spent time there.

Over the two decades, she began taking notes and photographs, and the result is a beautifully illustrated paperback which she spoke to Wavelengths about.

Living Among the Puffins on Skellig Michael by Catherine Merrigan, published by Rebel Press, is available in the Dingle Bookshop, Co Kerry and on Amazon at £12.99 sterling or 15 euro.Living Among the Puffins on Skellig Michael by Catherine Merrigan, published by Rebel Press, is available in the Dingle Bookshop, Co Kerry and on Amazon at £12.99 sterling or 15 euro.

Lorna Siggins

About The Author

Lorna Siggins

Email The Author

Lorna Siggins is a print and radio reporter, and a former Irish Times western correspondent. She is the author of Everest Callling (1994) on the first Irish Everest expedition; Mayday! Mayday! (2004) on Irish helicopter search and rescue; and Once Upon a Time in the West: the Corrib gas controversy (2010).

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Afloat's Wavelengths Podcast with Lorna Siggins

Weekly dispatches from the Irish coast with journalist Lorna Siggins, talking to people in the maritime sphere. Topics range from marine science and research to renewable energy, fishing, aquaculture, archaeology, history, music and more...

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