New York Times full of praise for ancient Irish island
Skellig Michael received a glowing write up from American paper the New York Times earlier this week.
The island off the coast of Co Kerry has been getting a lot of publicity recently as it was one of the filming locations for the latest Star Wars movie.
Lucinda Hahn of the New York Times took a visit to see what all the fuss was about and was suitably impressed.
Her article – titled ‘Star Wars Fever Extends to an Ancient Irish Island’ – was full of praise for the UNISCO site.
Hahn wrote: “There was something mournful and beautiful about it all: the six beehive-shaped monastic cells huddled together, two boat-shaped oratories, as well as crude stone crosses, serving as grave markers, and the ruins of a medieval church.”
It wasn’t just the island itself that came in for praise. Hahn was also blown away by the stunning views of the entire area.
She said: “The views over the Atlantic were endless, and gulls and gannets soared and dived, their cries echoing with either anguished loneliness or triumphant salvation, possibly a bit of both.
“Its remote location has kept the island, a Unesco site, under the radar — luring far fewer (and far more adventurous) souls than other Irish wonders with a high-wattage wow factor, such as the Cliffs of Moher.”
It is not yet known what will happen in the scenes that have been shot at Skellig Michael. The cast and crew are highly secretive and locals have even signed non-disclosure agreements.
There is no guarantee that the Skellig Michael scenes will even make the final cut.
However, actor Mark Hamill was filmed enjoying himself at a local Co Kerry pub earlier in the year so it is possible that the island could be used as a place of solitude for Luke Skywalker.
Skellig Michael is the larger of two islands off the Co Kerry coast – the other being Valentina Island. It was named as a UNISCO world heritage site in 1996.
It holds the ruins of an ancient monastery and is notoriously difficult to get to. There are currently only 13 boatmen who are licensed to take visitors on the 11 mile trip – and even then visits are dependent on the weather.
There is then the small matter of 618 steep steps to reach the monastery.
Hahn said: “But now its relative obscurity seems about to end in a blaze of silver-screen glory.”