#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.