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Thursday 18 September 2014

Star Wars war: UNESCO questions who allowed filming on Skelligs

Published 29/07/2014 | 11:25

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From left to right, Chelsea, Nathan and Griffin Hamill, sons and daughter of actor Mark Hamill arrive at Portmagee pier to board a boat to Skellig Michael where filming is taking place on the new Star Wars 7 film.  Picture: Damien Eagers
From left to right, Chelsea, Nathan and Griffin Hamill, sons and daughter of actor Mark Hamill arrive at Portmagee pier to board a boat to Skellig Michael where filming is taking place on the new Star Wars 7 film. Picture: Damien Eagers
Eileen Whelan, owner of Skellig Mist Cafe, in Portmagee, Co. Kerry, Eileen is providing catering for the cast and crew of Star Wars who are filming on Skellig Island.  Picture: Damien Eagers
Eileen Whelan, owner of Skellig Mist Cafe, in Portmagee, Co. Kerry, Eileen is providing catering for the cast and crew of Star Wars who are filming on Skellig Island. Picture: Damien Eagers
Mark Hamill

FILMING of Star Wars on Skellig Michael has ruffled more feathers than just those of the native puffin population with UNESCO also making inquiries as to who authorised the shoot.

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Work on day two of filming for Star Wars: Episode VII began early this morning with the boats carrying crew leaving Portmagee pier at 6am.

Security personnel were on duty at 5am but once the helicopter left Con O’Shea’s farm at 7.45am, it signalled the action was about to begin.

Director JJ Abrams travels by helicopter to Skellig Michael so when this comes back in the evening it means the boats will follow.

UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre has already made inquiries about who authorised filming on Skellig Michael which was designated a World Heritage Site in 1996 because of its monastic settlement ruins that date back to the 6th century.

Birdwatch Ireland is also complaining about the timing of the filming in the middle of the breeding season for the island’s native bird population.

One of Star Wars biggest stars, Mark Hamill who plays Luke Skywalker had his first day on the Irish set yesterday.

Mr Hamill’s wife Marilou and his children, Nathan, Chelsea and Griffin, were spotted in the Co Kerry fishing village yesterday.

He was spotted getting off the helicopter with Mr Abrams at the O’Shea farm on nearby Valentia Island just after 7.30pm last night.

Weather conditions have disimproved somewhat today although early morning drizzle eventually gave way to clearer conditions.

However, it is thought the crew was anxious to have an early start to get a few hour’s work behind them in case the weather worsens later.

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