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13 Sep 2016

Lucky winner of Star Wars promotion visits Kerry

Star Wars fan gets to walk the ‘Jedi steps’ of Skellig Michael

The lucky winner of a Star Wars promotion is visiting Kerry and the South West this week.

The Lucasfilm “Force for Change” charitable initiative was announced earlier this year – offering Star Wars fans the chance to win the grand prize of a trip to Ireland, sponsored by Tourism Ireland in New York. Nicholas Harris, from Bradenton, Florida, was the lucky winner of the competition and he and his father Alan arrived in Kerry this week. After sampling the warm Kerry welcome of the Butler Arms Hotel, the pair departed Portmagee early this morning (13 September) for Skellig Michael, with Patrick O’Neill of Waterville Boats.

The video announcing the campaign (click here to view), unveiled earlier this year, includes footage of Skellig Michael – which Kathleen Kennedy describes as “the location of the dramatic final scene from The Force Awakens”. It has been viewed more than 1.3 million times to date.

Since the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens last December, Tourism Ireland has been taking every opportunity to capitalise on the publicity around the film, to help whet peoples’ appetites to come and visit.

Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s Head of North America, said: “We were delighted to be associated with Star Wars and the 2016 “Force for Change” campaign. The video announcing the campaign has already been viewed more than 1.3 million times – showcasing the magnificent scenery of Skellig Michael and also highlighting a truly worthwhile initiative.

“Skellig Michael’s appearance in the most recent instalment of Star Wars presented Tourism Ireland with a truly unique opportunity to highlight the South West and Ireland to fans of the science fiction franchise around the world. And the good news for Irish tourism is that this didn't signal the end of the Star Wars journey in Ireland. Location scouts were so taken with the Wild Atlantic Way that locations from Cork, Kerry, Clare and Donegal were also selected to appear in the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VIII.”

  Prize-winner Nicholas Harris (centre), and his father Alan, with captain Patrick O’Neill, Waterville Boats (right), at Portmagee Pier.

Notes To Editors

  • Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
  • Tourism is the island of Ireland’s largest indigenous industry; responsible for in excess of 4% of GNP in the Republic of Ireland and employing approximately 220,000 people.
  • In 2015, we welcomed approximately 9.3 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of about €4.7 billion.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, 29 market sites available in 11 language versions around the world, which attracted about 16.5 million visitors in 2015.