Even in this assertively secular age, Skellig Michael can be described as a special place.
Indeed, if our woke vocabulary will allow, it seems appropriate to describe all the Skellig islands — and many more jewels like them — as sacred places, places where time, imagination, and lingering relics of lost, all but forgotten communities speak together in a way that soothes and stimulates.
Even if that consequence is purely an imagined experience — one many of those who have visited those islands might
admit to — it suggests that a certain degree of protection, of historical decorum, is needed in how we treat these places.
This respect should be extended to islands with ancient settlements on inland lakes too.
In that context, it seems sensible to agree with the argument that allowing Skellig Michael be used as a set for two Star Wars films was unwise.
Tourism interests might disagree but it’s time to put a price beyond bed nights and Tripadvisor ratings on our national treasures so that they might remain just that rather than sites for hire, diminished and degraded by the passing crowd.