‘Star Wars’ not to blame for Skellig Michael rockfall, says expert


Ireland – Sceilg Mhichíl

Remote island’s damage not caused by film crew or visitor surge, conservationist claims.

The Unesco world heritage site of Skellig Michael, a sixth-century monastic site, has suffered its second major rockfall in a year, and one of a handful of its most serious rockfalls in decades.

Visitor numbers to the fragile site, precariously rising over the Atlantic increased by well over 1,000 last year, and the surge in popularity is being attributed locally to the publicity surrounding the filming of Star Wars on the island in 2015.

The visitor season on the Skellig closes in October, and by mid-September the official count was already 13,500 – 1,000 up on the figure for the full 2015 tourist season.

However, senior conservation architect for Skellig Michael Grellan Rourke rejected the idea the rockfall was linked to the increase in visitor numbers or filming in the area.

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