The Office of Public Works may extend the visitor season to Sceilg Mhichíl which is due to end today.

A review is to get under way immediately, which represents a change of heart by the OPW.

The season runs from May to October and any extension to the season was firmly ruled out as recently as mid-August.

The island closes to visitors today, after a fundraising event allowing the 15 boatmen who are permit holders to operate a special landing for charities.

Demand for access has been unprecedented since filming of Star Wars movie episodes in recent years on the 6th century monastic site off the Kerry coast.

In 2016, almost 14,700 people landed on Sceilg Mhichíl, which is 3,500 more than the numbers considered sustainable in the current UNESCO approved management plan for the island.

The OPW said the 2016 figure was "exceptional" and due to good weather during the mid-May to October visitor season.

An OPW spokesman said today: "Arrangements are being made currently to carry out the review and a decision is to be announced by the end of October, early November."