Will the Force be with us?

March 21st, 2016 9:55 PM

By Siobhan Cronin

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It looks like the Force may well be with West Cork locals this summer, as Star Wars has been given permission to film near Crookhaven in May.

IT looks like the Force may well be with West Cork locals this summer, as an ‘established film franchise’ – most likely the Star Wars phenomenon – has been given permission to film near Crookhaven in May.

Locals at Brow Head on the Mizen Peninsula were stunned this week to see a large metal road being laid along the headland which lies to the east of Barleycove bay.

Large trucks carrying equipment were spotted on the narrow road to the head, where one of Marconi’s radio towers stands in ruins.

‘There is metal tracking half way to the point,’ one local told The Southern Star, adding that she was amazed with the transformation taking place along the site of her daily walk, when she arrived there on Monday.

While a rumour had circulated that filming was for the planned movie on the Sophie Toscan du Plantier murder, it is now believed the ‘prepping’ of the area is for a two-week filming stint planned for the new Star Wars movie, during the last two weeks in May.

The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht confirmed it had given permission for the shoot at the location, hours after it published a 77-page filming proposal, citing an ‘established film franchise’ which would film there this summer.

While large parts of the proposal are redacted, it does outline plans for a major filming site, with ‘several porta-cabins’, temporary roadways, four marquees, a security cabin, tents and toilet facilities for crew and cast to be located at the beauty spot. An ecologist or conservation officer is to be present at all times, to ensure no damage to the environment and up to twenty people will be on site during the ‘prepping’ of the area over the coming weeks. The crew will be on-site from 7am until 8pm.

A number of local people have been contacted with requests for accommodation. ‘The whole of Crookhaven has been booked out now for those weeks,’ the local said, adding that the requests were accompanied by several stipulations, which put some people off. ‘You had to sign a confidentiality clause and you also had to have one bathroom for every bedroom in the house.’

A jack-knifed truck carrying equipment to Brow Head earlier this week alerted others to the activity on the headland, which is one of West Cork’s most scenic spots, looking out towards the majestic Fastnet lighthouse.

‘It will be great for the area,’ another Crookhaven local added, ‘but there are old copper mines up there too, with just netting around them at the moment, so hopefully everyone will be safe, and the area won’t be spoiled for people who love the spectacular walks along the headland.’

From Malin to Mizen, it seems the Star Wars crew have searched the length and breadth – literally – of Ireland to get the best locations.

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