SO, it finally comes down to a toss-up of a coin as to whether Ireland’s decision to allow filming of an episode of Star Wars on Skellig Michael, the remote Christian hermitage off the Kerry coast, was naive or visionary.
On one face of the coin, director JJ Abrams has admitted feeling “shocked” when given the green light to film scenes at the Unesco site, encompassing the nearby craggy home to the world’s second largest colony of gannets.
It is a bird sanctuary virtually beyond compare and hence the suggestion of naiveté on the Government’s part in sparking an environmental furore over opening such a precious and sensitive place to the moguls of Hollywood.
However, Mr Abrams goes on to say: “I can’t believe they let us shoot there, it was so beautiful.”
His search for ‘authenticity’ and ‘reality’ led him to the Skelligs where some of the final scenes of the record-breaking movie were filmed during two visits.
And therein lies Ireland’s potentially visionary stroke of cashing in on the tourism force of a place that renders a person speechless on first going there.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved