« BackContributors to Skellig Michael book criticise handling of Star Wars filming

The contributors to a book inspired by Skellig Michael have criticised the Government’s handling of its decision to allow Star Wars film-makers shoot on the island.

By Jerzy Strzelecki (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
Shooting for the eighth episode in the film franchise began on the UNESCO World Heritage Site yesterday.
The poets and other artists were contributors to an anthology which marked he completion of the OPW’s conservation work on the ancient monastic site of Skellig Michael.
Editor Paddy Bushe along with other contributors including poets Derek Mahon, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill and Cathal Ó Searcaigh as well as Seamus Heaney’s widow Marie have expressed  their concerns in a letter published in the Irish Times.
They say the producers of Star Wars should not have been approached with an offer of Skellig Michael as a location without  the bodies responsible for the island first being consulted.
They criticise the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys  for failing to consult with the Office of Public Works and other groups responsible for safeguarding the island’s heritage.
Meanwhile sculptor Imogen Stuart says she was worried about the Star Wars filming.
Ms Stuart was speaking after she received the highest honour from Aosdána, the state funded artists’ organisation.
She speculated that merchandise could be sold on the island for visiting Star Wars fans.
Ms Stuart called on President Higgins to re-establish the former heritage body Dúchas to resolve the issue.