'Star Wars' Returns to Skellig Michael
The film crew for the upcoming movie 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' will return to shoot on Skellig Michael after being granted permission by Minister for Heritage Heather Humphreys.
The filming of the blockbuster movie will, according to Fáilte Ireland, bring "hundreds of thousands" of extra tourists to Ireland. The film crew landed on the island for three days in 2014.
In a statement, Fáilte Ireland said the movie has "phenomenal" reach in terms of tourism. “It’s absolutely priceless in terms of raising Ireland’s profile abroad. The films have a very strong fan base and anything linking us to Star Wars is going to be of major benefit,” read the statement.
However, the Irish Times reports the filming on the historic island has caused controversy among environmental groups, who are seeking to protect the unique wildlife that inhabit the island.
Groups such as An Taisce and BirdWatch Ireland have raised "serious concerns" about the affect that the 100-strong film crew, including a helicopter crew, will have on the island.
Minister Humphreys has attempted to allay those fears by ensuring the groups that “months of preparatory work” has gone into the protection of the site, adhering to “stringent bio-security protocols”.
The Irish Film Board have also welcomed the decision.