The old North station was already closed and on its way to ruin in the
1870s and its contemporary lower lighthouse continues alone. In 1965 this
lower lighthouse was completely rebuilt, and eventually in 1986 was converted
to automatic operation. Now Skellig lighthouse men - like Skellig monks
- are no more. Every function is monitored electronically from the offices
of The Commissioners of Irish Lights in Dublin, and technicians visit the
station but occasionally to service the equipment – diesel engines, solar
panels, and radio communications.
automatic light still performs its nightly function, but the absence of
the human touch and of the friendly, knowledgeable assistance of the experienced
lighthouse keeper, is understood only by the seamen who ply these waters,
these islands and these rocks.