The United Nations body, UNESCO, says it has not received any communication from the Irish government in relation to filming which is expected to take place on Skellig Michael next month.
It’s understood that filming by the producers of Star Wars will take place on the world heritage site off the south Kerry coast in mid-September. This follows the shooting of scenes for the Star Wars VII movie – due for the release in December – on the island last summer. The UN body, UNESCO, designates world heritage sites such as the ecologically sensitive and historically important Skellig Michael off the south coast. Governments are obliged to inform UNESCO about any projects at world heritage sites if there is any potential risk to the ‘outstanding universal value’ of a location.
When the Star Wars crew descended on Skellig Michael in July 2014 to shoot scenes for Star Wars VII, Radio Kerry News reported that UNESCO was only informed three days before filming began:
It’s expected that Disney Lucasfilm are returning to Skellig Michael in mid-September but in a statement to Radio Kerry News, UNESCO says it has not received any communication from the Irish government about the proposed shoot. The use of the island for filming last year prompted condemnation from nature and heritage interests.
UNESCO confirmed that it did receive a report from the Department of Arts on the 2014 shoot after it had taken place. A spokesperson described that report as ‘exhaustive and thorough.’ The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has declined to comment on whether any filming is taking place on Skellig Michael in September.