An Taisce calls for rethink on how Skelligs are managed, promoted and publicised in wake of Star Wars

Monastic settlement on Sceilig Mhíchíl. Photo by Marian O'Flaherty

A rethink is needed on how the Skelligs are managed, promoted and publicised in the wake of Star Wars.

That’s according to Ian Lumley of An Taisce who’s written to the new Minister for Culture, Heritage and Gaeltacht Jospeha Madigan, seeking assurances on the future of the Skelligs to ensure their heritage is preserved.

Skellig Michael features prominently in the latest instalment in the Star Wars franchise, Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, which is well on its way to taking a billion at the box office.

Ian Lumley of An Taisce says Fáilte Ireland’s current campaign seeks to rebrand Skellig Michael as the Star Wars island.

He said the branding needs to focus on the genuine significance, real historical meaning and the spiritual significance of the Skellig as an iconic UNESCO site in the early history of Christian Europe.

Mr Lumey has penned a letter to Minister Madigan seeking a moratorium on further filming.

He’s also seeking agreement with the OPW to ensure visitor numbers are in accordance with UNESCO management plan and focus on its natural significance.

Mr Lumley denied cultural snobbery, saying the way in which this future of this sensitive island is handled, as one of Europe’s iconic Christian sites, is paramount.