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Fears for Rathlin Island's future as Covid-19 wipes out 10 years of growing visitor numbers overnight

Puffin paradise struggling with economic hit

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Rathlin Island has proven to be a popular tourist destination

Rathlin Island has proven to be a popular tourist destination

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Mary O'Driscoll operator of Manor House Hotel on Rathlin Island

Mary O'Driscoll operator of Manor House Hotel on Rathlin Island

Michael Cecil.

Michael Cecil.

Liam McFaul is the RSPB warden on Rathlin Island

Liam McFaul is the RSPB warden on Rathlin Island

Rathlin Island has proven to be a popular tourist destination

RATHLIN Island has so far managed to escape the devastation of the coronavirus pandemic, but there may be storm clouds gathering over the popular puffin paradise.

Zero cases of Covid-19 have come at the cost of zero visitors since lockdown began, causing significant economic challenges for the island.

Michael Cecil, chairman of the local residents' association, says people are concerned about the long-term economic impact of the shutdown and are already considering partially reopening the island before the end of the year.