Star War film may have long-term impact on Irish tourism

Published on : Friday, December 18, 2015

TOURISM IRELANDAdventurer and owner of Work at Height, Mike O’Shea, said: “We knew what they wanted us to know even though we were heavily involved but it’s a very secretive industry. The film is going to be great for Kerry because it’s going to have an impact for the next 20 or 30 years. Rural Ireland is still recovering from the crash so we need to look forward and embrace these things. We need tourism and so we need to embrace projects like this.”

Shea’s company looked after the logistics of getting cast, crew and equipment onto Skellig
Michael for the Star Wars shooting.

Des Lavelle, boatman and writer, said: “I want to see what they make of the Skellig because, for me, this whole operation has degraded the Skellig from being the star of every show to suddenly being a bit of set dressing for a cartoon. The spin-off, no doubt, will be great and the crowds will come but there will be no room for them on Skellig. It’s full already.”

Jimmy Deenihan, local TD and minister of state for the diaspora, said: “I think it’s spectacular and it’s going to do an awful lot not only for Skellig Michael but for Kerry and for Ireland. This will be seen by 200m people and maybe more and it’s on for three minutes — you could not buy that kind of publicity.”

Young audience members were just as enthusiastic. Gearoid Mulvihill, aged 12, from Kilcummin, said: “It was very good, especially the big battle scenes. I’ve never been on Skellig Michael but I’ve been around it. I’d love to get on it now.”

Riona Moran, aged 13, who hails from Portmagee, added: “It was amazing. It really showed off Skellig Michael and I didn’t expect there to be that much of it shown, so I was really happy and proud.”

Jordan O’Neill, 16, who hails from Waterville, said: “I’ve seen all the Star Wars movies but this is one of the best ones ever.

“My granddad Pat O’Neill is a boat driver and he took some of them out to the Skellig. When he told me he had tickets to go to this special screening, I was happy out because I was sorted but my friends were half jealous.”

Piaras Kelly, a film crew member from Beaufort, said, “It was absolutely fantastic, amazing. Two hours of my life just flew by. It really did Skellig Michael justice. I’m looking forward to the next one. It’s a short clip of the Skellig but it was worth waiting for.”

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