Out in force

May looks set to be Inishowen’s month as it has been confirmed that up to 300 delegates from county councils across the country are to arrive in the peninsula on May 5th and 6th for a national conference.

Following recent news that the new Star Wars movie may be filmed in Malin Head in May, the peninsula is in for another bumper economy boost that month as it holds the Association of National Government in Ireland’s Spring Conference.

The news was confirmed by Councillor Nicholas Crossan, who sits on the AILG County Executive.

The AILG’s Spring Conference will be held in Buncrana’s Inishowen Gateway Hotel and follows a similar event held in the town in 2010.

That brought significant money into the local economy and also promoted the peninsula across the country.

Councillor Crossan told the ‘Journal’ he was “delighted” to have secured the conference.

Meanwhile, Ann Harkin, the acting manager of Inishowen Tourism, has said the peninsula’s links to the new Star Wars film is “great publicity” for the area.

While there is yet to be official confirmation the movie is to be filmed here, it is understood representatives from Lucas Film are due to arrive here, also in May, after previously visiting the area. A number of local B&Bs, vacant houses and hotels have been booked up for the last week in April and the beginning of May.

The news that Malin Head may be the next location for Star Wars Episode VIII has attracted attention right across the country and Ms. Harkin said the publicity is “fantastic.”

She said the exposure both domestically and internationally is a huge boost to the peninsula, which is “greatly beneficial” to film-makers due to its location to City of Derry Airport and the “top” facilities in local towns and villages. She said they would be “delighted” to “heartily” welcome Star Wars and any film crew into the area, adding that any connection to the film would have long-term positive effects for local tourism.

Yesterday, it emerged that the Department for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht had yet to give permission for filming to go ahead at Malin Head.However, there are hopes this will pass soon.