Return of the Jedi as filmmakers to come back to Skellig
THE return of the Jedi to Skellig Michael will bring thousands of tourists to the region, a local councillor has claimed.
The 'Star Wars' crew is set to return to the Kerry island later this year - although it is unclear whether they will be there to shoot 'pick-up' scenes for 'Episode VII: The Force Awakens' or the next instalment of the sci-fi franchise.
There has been speculation that Skellig Michael will feature prominently in both 'Episode VII' and the next movie, 'Episode VIII'.
However, their presence there has been controversial with some fearing damage to the Unesco world heritage site. Reaction to reports of Disney Lucasfilm returning to Skellig Michael has been largely positive.
Councillor Michael Cahill has welcomed the move, claiming that the economic and tourism benefits would be significant.
"This would be huge for south Kerry, the beautiful Skellig Michael is one of our biggest attractions and I can't help but think that many more people would come and see it now if the 'Star Wars' film crew return."
And claims that filming on the site could cause irreparable damage were scotched by the councillor.
"When they filmed for three days the last time they were there, they did not damage anything on the island as I understand," he said.
The Office of Public Works, which manages and maintains guides on the site, directed all queries to the Irish Film Board last night.
However, the body failed to reply to queries from this newspaper yesterday.
It follows on from last year's controversial use of the site, when the island was closed to visitors for the three-day period.