Explore the best of Ireland’s rugged west coast; Katie McGonagle; Telegraph

Explore the rugged charms and warm hospitality of the west coast of Ireland with a scenic drive along the Wild Atlantic Way.

Source: Explore the best of Ireland’s rugged west coast

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Cork sites eye Unesco heritage status; Sean O’Riordan; Irish Examiner

Cork County Council has been told to prepare plans to get a number of harbour forts, Martello towers, and what was once the largest gunpowder factory in the world added to Unesco’s world heritage status list.

Source: Cork sites eye Unesco heritage status

Set-jetting: The film and TV locations blighted by overtourism; Irish Examiner

Cornish beaches featured in TV series Poldark have become overrun, prompting authorities to deter visitors. But it’s a problem worldwide…

Source: Set-jetting: The film and TV locations blighted by overtourism

€500,000 cost to run Skellig Michael; Anna Lucey; Irish Examiner

New figures released on request by the Office of Public Works reveal the yearly cost of running Skellig Michael is over €500,000.

Source: €500,000 cost to run Skellig Michael

Heritage group alarmed at rising number of visitors to Skellig Michael; Anne Lucey; Irish Times

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Drone filming on Skellig Michael poses risk to puffins, warns An Taisce; Lorna Siggins; Irish Times

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Ireland – Sceilg Mhichíl

Department of Culture says wildlife documentary work will be ‘strictly supervised’

An Taisce has expressed concern about the impact of drone use on Skellig Michael’s seasonal puffin population during filming of a documentary on the Unesco world heritage site.

The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht confirmed that “limited filming” of a wildlife documentary would take place on the Skelligs off the Kerry coast in June, using a drone, but said it would be “strictly supervised”.

An Taisce advocacy officer Ian Lumley said he has no objection in principle to the documentary but questioned the use of a drone for close camera work when puffins and other birdlife are nesting on the islands.

He has called on the department to introduce “strict protocols” on drone use.

Atlantic puffins are listed as an endangered species in Europe, and are “globally threatened with extinction”, according to Birdlife International’s latest Status of the World’s Birds report.

The long transatlantic migration undertaken by puffins to and from Irish islands sometimes leaves them too exhausted to breed, according to work published last year by scientists from University College Cork (UCC) and Oxford University.

Human disturbance

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Iconic Kerry Star Wars island Skellig Michael to reopen to tourists for summer season; Nick Bramhill; Irish Mirror

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The isolated island, off Co. Kerry, has become a prime tourism destination for Star Wars fans after it featured extensively in galactic blockbusters ‘The Last Jedi’, and previously, ‘The Force Awakens’

Skellig Michael is expected to welcome its first tourists of the year today, following the completion of pre-season maintenance work on the remote UNESCO world heritage site.

The isolated island, off Co. Kerry, has become a prime tourism destination for Star Wars fans after it featured extensively in galactic blockbusters ‘The Last Jedi’, and previously, ‘The Force Awakens’.

Up to recently there had been fears that this year’s already restricted season might have to be cut short, as continued bad weather had made it impossible for OPW-employed workers to land on the Atlantic outpost to carry out necessary safety checks.

However, yesterday a spokesman for the OPW confirmed that the first boats of the season are due to land on the stunning island – unless there is a sudden change in the fine weather.

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6 ‘Star Wars’ Filming Locations That Are Out of This World; Olivia Little; Canadian Traveller

Ireland – Sceilg Mhichíl

The many picturesque planets and worlds which make up Star Wars are not as out of reach as one might think. That’s to say, there’s no need to travel across galaxies to experience the landscapes and scenery as shown in the films.

Whether you choose to drive through the rolling dunes of an Abu Dhabi desert or catch the sunset across the vast horizon of Bolivia’s longest salt plains, you’re sure to be transported to another world.

May the force be with you on your next adventure.

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” (2015)

Puzzlewood, England: The magical Star Wars forest

Star Wars fans will recognize Puzzlewood as the location of an intense battle between Rey and Kylo Ren in “The Force Awakens.” It also will come as no surprise that this mystic forest provided J.R.R. Tolkien and J.K. Rowling with inspiration for “The Lord of the Rings” and “Harry Potter.”

This enchantingly beautiful 14-acre woodland site serves as a tourist attraction and is located near Coleford, in the Forest of Dean of Gloucestershire, England.

Read more from source: 6 ‘Star Wars’ Filming Locations That Are Out of This World

Tourists may have longer wait to visit Skellig Michael; Nick Bramhill; Irish Examiner

Ireland – Sceilg Mhichíl

Skellig Michael will remain closed to visitors for at least another three weeks, meaning the island made famous by Star Wars could be facing its shortest-ever tourist season.

The isolated Unesco world heritage site, which featured extensively in the galactic blockbuster The Last Jedi, had been due to open up to tourists on May 15 for its already restricted annual four-and-a-half month visitor season.

However, the Office of Public Works (OPW) confirmed that staff have not been able to access the fragile Co Kerry outpost to carry out pre-season safety checks due to ongoing bad weather.

The OPW also revealed that the maintenance work, which will include a thorough examination of each of the 600 stone steps on the ancient monastic outcrop, and which under normal circumstances would have commenced in early April, will take about three weeks in total.

Read more from source: Tourists may have longer wait to visit Skellig Michael

The 15 Most Mysterious Sites in Ireland; Tina Donvito; Reader’s Digest

Ireland – Sceilg Mhichíl

From ancient kings and fairies to ghosts and giants, discover the secrets of these mythical spots on the Emerald Isle.

THE HILL OF TARA

From above, the Hill of Tara in County Meath looks like a message to the gods carved in the earth. In reality, this ancient mound was the seat of the Celtic High Kings of Ireland, who ruled over all the lesser kings of the land. But Tara’s mythical importance goes back even farther, as the stronghold was built over Neolithic tombs. The ancient people believed gods dwelt here at the entrance to an other-world of eternal joy. And the place continues to inspire today: Archaeologists are still locating new sites underground, and people gather on the hilltop to celebrate their pagan ancestors on the summer solstice.

GIANT’S CAUSEWAY

Of course, there’s a perfectly logical scientific explanation for the strange interlocking columns that reach out into the sea at this UNESCO World Heritage site in County Antrim, Northern Ireland: The basalt columns were created by volcanic activity millions of years ago.

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