Menu

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: Skellig Michael

#StarWars - The environmental assessment under which the Arts Minister approved the recent Star Wars film shoot on Skellig Michael was "not compliant" with the EU Habitats Directive, says Birdwatch Ireland.

And as The Irish Times reports, the wildlife NGO says it will now be seeking changes to close a "legal loophole" by which Minister Heather Humphreys was able to approve the use of the Unesco world heritage site without third party consent under what it branded as a "significantly flawed" procedure.

Birdwatch Ireland's Siobhán Egan said the approval process was a "missed opportunity" for the Government to establish proper protocol for the use of sensitive sites.

An assessment compiled in October by the National Parks and Wildlife Service and National Monuments service found that the Disney Lucasfilm shoot had "no adverse impacts on seabirds, their habitats or other biodiversity on the island".

This was despite previously reported "incidents" that required repairs to stonework, as well as criticism over the lack of consultation – and permission for a previous Star Wars film shoot at the same site in July 2014 in the middle of the main seabird breeding season.

A spokesperson for Minister Humphreys said it was “completely inaccurate to suggest that the minister/department breached the Habitats Directive”.

The Irish Times has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Island News
Tagged under

#StarWars - The recent Star Wars film shoot on Skellig Michael had “no adverse impact on seabirds, their habitats or other biodiversity on the island” despite "incidents" previously reported.

That's according to an assessment compiled by the National Parks and Wildlife Service and National Monuments Service, as The Irish Times reports.

The three days of shooting had “no implication for the outstanding universal value of the World Heritage property and no impact on the national monument” and the report gave assurances that there was no impact on birds, despite being scheduled during breeding season.

“I get worried when they say there was no impact, we can’t see what’s happening to their eggs or young,” said Dr Stephen Newton of Birdwatch Ireland.

Meanwhile, the report confirmed two 'minor' incidents - a crew member catching his jacket on a stone entrance-way that had been previously damaged and repaired, and a spill of "diluted water-based paint" on rocks next to the Wailing Woman.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Office of Public Works last month confirmed repairs by stonemasons at the Unesco World Heritage site after the departure of the Lucasfilm crew, which made a €10,000 donation to Valentia's lifeboat station during the shoot in mid-September.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Island News

#RNLI - Valentia's lifeboat station received a €10,000 donation from Star Wars producers during their recent film shoot on Skellig Michael.

As The Irish Times reports, the RNLI station's operations manager Richard Foran confirmed to a local paper that the lump sum came as "a complete surprise. But I think the lifeboat came to their minds because of what they were doing."

The good news comes after some controversy earlier this week over confirmed 'repairs' on Skellig Michael after the week-long film shoot on the sensitive Unesco World Heritage site.

Filming was delayed at the start of the shoot a fortnight ago due to high winds and rough seas common around the weather-worn island.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#StarWars - "Incidents" requiring "repairs" by stonemasons following the recent Star Wars film shoot on Skellig Michael have been confirmed by the Office of Public Works (OPW).

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the week-long film shoot on the Unesco World Heritage site – which includes a monastic site dating to the 6th century, and a sensitive habitat for a number of seabird species – prompted concerns among environmentalists ahead of the production's arrival.

Those worries were dismissed by Arts Minister Heather Humphries, despite mounting criticism from a number of people in the arts connected with the Kerry coastal island, taking her to task for not consulting with the OPW before giving the go-ahead to the Disney-backed film shoot.

Now The Irish Times reports that the minister did not approve the film shoot under section 14 of the National Monuments Act, according to An Taisce - which said it has photographic evidence of fresh repairs to the entrance of the island's monetary and a number of stone steps on the site.

Repairs to the steps were confirmed by the OPW, which said the work was "an entirely normal procedure" at the end of the visitor season.

It has also emerged that Disney Lucasfilm was not charged a facility fee for the recent shoot nor last year's filming on the island for the upcoming release Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Island News

#StarWars - Criticism of the Arts Minister mounts over the latest Star Wars filming project on Skellig Michael, which began filming yesterday (Tuesday 15 September) after poor weather delayed the shoot.

Following a previous lambasting by Fintan O'Toole in the wake of environmentalists' concerns, 12 writers and a photographer associated with the Co Kerry island have signed a letter to The Irish Times taking Minister Heather Humphreys to task for not consulting the Office of Public Works (OPW), which manages the Unesco World Heritage site, before giving the go-ahead to the Disney-backed film shoot.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Island News

#StarWars - Poor weather today (Monday 14 September) has postponed the start of filming on Skellig Michael for a future Star Wars movie project.

According to The Irish Times, high winds and rough seas off the Iveragh Peninsula meant the film crew's boats stayed in their moorings.

But it's only a temporary delay, despite environmentalists' concerns over the impact of the film shoot on the island's vulnerable colonies of protected bird species.

Arts Minister Heather Humphries recently dismissed such concerns, saying that during the shoot "peak activity levels" will see around 100 people on the island "under strict supervision" with an ecologist and departmental staff on hand to halt proceedings in the event of any threat to wildlife.

"Those attempting to turn this into a negative story seem to be completely overlooking the fact that up to 180 people visit the island on any given day," she added.

However, writing in The Irish Times recently, Fintan O'Toole decried the Government's acquiescence to Star Wars owners Disney over filming privileges at the Unesco World Heritage Site, and the notion that the State has sold out an integreal part of Ireland's national heritage.

"Once Skellig Michael becomes (as film gossip suggests) Luke Skywalker’s refuge," he writes, "it ceases to be our refuge from the endless, voracious insistence on knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing."

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Island News

#IslandNews - Could Star Wars be coming to the Skelligs? According to some reports, the 'Force' is with the Co Kerry islands - specifically Skellig Michael.

The Daily Edge has confirmed with the Office of Public Works that a film production is indeed scheduled to take place on the island, which houses one of Ireland's earliest monastic settlements.

But as yet it's still hearsay as to whether the filming will be for JJ Abrams' long-awaited seventh instalment of the Star Wars saga.

Published in Island News
#ISLAND NEWS - The Irish Times reports that pontoons are to be installed at Portmagee in Co Kerry to provide easier access to ferry services for Skellig Michael.
Some 10,000 people visit the Unesco world heritage site every year. But a safety audit last year was critical of facilities at Portmagee, finding there was a risk of slipping on concrete steps leading to the boats.
Minister for Transpirt Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar has allocated €200,000 to fund the new pontoons for tourist ferries to the island, which will be located in closer proximity to the fishing village.
The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.
#ISLAND NEWS - The Irish Times reports that pontoons are to be installed at Portmagee in Co Kerry to provide easier access to ferry services for Skellig Michael.

Some 10,000 people visit the Unesco world heritage site every year. But a safety audit last year was critical of facilities at Portmagee, finding there was a risk of slipping on concrete steps leading to the boats.

Minister for Transpirt Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar has earmarked €200,000 to fund the new pontoons for tourist ferries to the island, which will be located in closer proximity to the fishing village.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.
Published in Island News
The crew of sailors, artists, musicians and historians on board Ar Seachrán - who are retracing the famous voyage of St Brendan - were refused permission to land on Skellig Michael, it has emerged.
The Kerryman reports that though some visitors are understood to have landed on the island in recent weeks, the OPW refused the Brendan's Voyage crew on health and safety grounds.
A spokesperson for the OPW said it requires at least 10 days notice to make preparations for any visitors and repair damage to pathways and buildings occurring over the winter months.
Dr Breandán Ó Ciobhán of the voyage party described the news as "very disappointing".
Ar Seachrán, a 45ft yacht owned by Paddy Barry - himself a veteran of unique ocean voyages - will continue on its journey up the west coast of Ireland and Scotland, by the Orkneys, Shetlands and Faroe Islands to Iceland.

The crew of sailors, artists, musicians and historians on board Ar Seachrán - who are retracing the famous voyage of St Brendan - were refused permission to land on Skellig Michael, it has emerged.

The Kerryman reports that though some visitors are understood to have landed on the island in recent weeks, the OPW refused the Brendan's Voyage crew on health and safety grounds.

bon_voyage_a_danny

Photo copyright: Robert Brummett


A spokesperson for the OPW said it requires at least 10 days notice to make preparations for any visitors and repair damage to pathways and buildings occurring over the winter months.

Dr Breandán Ó Ciobhán of the voyage party described the news as "very disappointing".

Ar Seachrán, a 45ft yacht owned by Paddy Barry - himself a veteran of unique ocean voyages - will continue on its journey up the west coast of Ireland and Scotland, by the Orkneys, Shetlands and Faroe Islands to Iceland.

Published in Coastal Notes
Page 4 of 4

Marine Wildlife Around Ireland One of the greatest memories of any day spent boating around the Irish coast is an encounter with marine wildlife.  It's a thrill for young and old to witness seabirds, seals, dolphins and whales right there in their own habitat. As boaters fortunate enough to have experienced it will testify even spotting a distant dorsal fin can be the highlight of any day afloat.  Was that a porpoise? Was it a whale? No matter how brief the glimpse it's a privilege to share the seas with Irish marine wildlife.

Thanks to the location of our beautiful little island, perched in the North Atlantic Ocean there appears to be no shortage of marine life to observe.

From whales to dolphins, seals, sharks and other ocean animals this page documents the most interesting accounts of marine wildlife around our shores. We're keen to receive your observations, your photos, links and youtube clips.

Boaters have a unique perspective and all those who go afloat, from inshore kayaking to offshore yacht racing that what they encounter can be of real value to specialist organisations such as the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) who compile a list of sightings and strandings. The IWDG knowledge base has increased over the past 21 years thanks in part at least to the observations of sailors, anglers, kayakers and boaters.

Thanks to the IWDG work we now know we share the seas with dozens of species who also call Ireland home. Here's the current list: Atlantic white-sided dolphin, beluga whale, blue whale, bottlenose dolphin, common dolphin, Cuvier's beaked whale, false killer whale, fin whale, Gervais' beaked whale, harbour porpoise, humpback whale, killer whale, minke whale, northern bottlenose whale, northern right whale, pilot whale, pygmy sperm whale, Risso's dolphin, sei whale, Sowerby's beaked whale, sperm whale, striped dolphin, True's beaked whale and white-beaked dolphin.

But as impressive as the species list is the IWDG believe there are still gaps in our knowledge. Next time you are out on the ocean waves keep a sharp look out!