DUBLIN, Ireland, Sept. 10 (UPI) -- Lucasfilm has been granted permission to shoot additional scenes for its Star Wars film franchise this month on Ireland's Skellig Michael island.
Heather Humphries, the country's minister of arts and heritage, confirmed the decision to RTE News.
Part of the upcoming movie Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens was shot at the UNESCO world-heritage site off of the coast of County Kerry last year, but some nature conservationists have voiced concerns that the commotion caused by filming might disturb the area's bird population. The island also is home to what remains of a medieval, Christian monastery.
Humphries has assured that strict precautions will be taken to protect the area's environmental, archeological and ecological integrity when the film crew returns. She also said staff from the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the National Monuments Service will be present during production and have been authorized to intervene should any problems arise.
"I want to be very clear that my priority is to protect Skellig Michael and the UNESCO world-heritage site and strict conditions are being imposed to ensure the environment is fully protected," she told RTE, adding that shooting there will boost Ireland's profile as a filming location, while providing jobs for local people.
RTE did not say which Star Wars movie will be shot there this month. An eighth installment in the central saga is in the works, as are several, standalone, spinoff films.