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Island Guide Speaks Out Over Skellig Michael Star Wars Shoot

1st March 2016
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Skellig Michael has come to be known as 'Star Wars Island' since becoming a location for the blockbuster movie series Skellig Michael has come to be known as 'Star Wars Island' since becoming a location for the blockbuster movie series Photo: Jerzy Strzelecki/Wikimedia

#StarWars - An experienced heritage guide's concerns have rekindled controversy over the impact of filming for the new Star Wars movies on Skellig Michael.

As The Irish Times reported recently, Claire O’Halloran – an independent contractor for the Office of Public Works (OPW) on the Kerry coastal island over the last 28 years – claims that damage to the Unesco World Heritage site has been downplayed, with many "control failures" going unreported.

She alleges that Arts and Heritage Minister Heather Humphreys granted permission for the film shoot based on incomplete data on the ecology of the island, a sanctuary for important seabird species.

It's also a location that's being hyped by Tourism Ireland on the back of its featuring in the recent blockbuster hit The Force Awakens.

But O'Halloran reserves much of her ire for the Irish Film Board, which comes under the auspices of the minister.

According to the island guide, the board seemed “completely unaware” of the island's sensitivity as it pushed for the shoot with Disney Lucasfilm – with initial plans for the summer of 2014 providing for a crew of 300 and air-drops of additional equipment before any consultation with the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

The Irish Times has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Island News
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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