Up Your Sliabh | Donegal’s Stunning Sea Cliffs
A signature point along the Wild Atlantic Way in Donegal, Sliabh Liag mountain boasts the highest accessible coastline cliffs of Europe. Reaching almost 2,000 feet, they are almost three times taller than the Cliffs of Moher in Co Clare.
Offering dazzling panoramic views across Donegal Bay, Sliabh Liag currently attracts in excess of 160,000 visitors per year. That number looks set to increase, however, with the completion of major works by Donegal County Council and Fáilte Ireland.
Costing €4.95m, the Sliabh Liag Strategic Development Project was officially opened last month. The money was used to build a ranger station with car park and toilet facilities, make road improvements from Carrick village where the mountain is located, renovate Sliabh Liag’s visitor centre and install 2.5km of new mountain path.
Now within the visitor’s centre, which includes a cafe and seating area, there are interactive activities available for younger visitors. Titled ‘On the Edge’, these new ‘interpretation panels’ feature artistic illustrations which animate stories surrounding the mountain. They will also provide essential information regarding Sliabh Liag’s routes, as well as safety advice for navigating the sublime landmark.
For the 2.5km of new path, each stone was hand picked and sourced locally from another part of Sliabh Liag, the mountain’s scree slopes. This enabled the new walkway to maintain a natural look. Stones were lifted via helicopter with the path now creating a single, defined route through some difficult and steep sections of the mountain.
Speaking in advance of the official opening which took place on May 13 in the new visitor centre, Minister Joe McHugh TD said “There’s no match for a place like Sliabh Liag, sitting right on the edge of Donegal’s Gaeltacht. We have a huge opportunity to grow the spectacular location to become a major flagship tourism project for the county.”
“Sliabh Liag continues to attract growing numbers of visitors. This investment will assist greatly with onsite management and also the protection of the mountain through the new path having regard to the increased footfall.”
“Providing these essential facilities will undoubtedly enhance the visitors experience at Sliabh Liag. It will also enable the local community to avail of the potential that exists, while at the same time protecting and preserving the unique landscape and culture of the area that makes Sliabh Liag such a special place.”
Donegal County Council in association with Donegal Tourism has developed a website and social media presence for Sliabh Liag. Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council Cllr. Seamus O’Domhnaill believes all these developments will create jobs locally and stimulate local investment.
Speaking on the matter, O’Domhnaill said: “The Sliabh Liag Strategic Development Project represents a substantial investment in what is one of the most iconic visitor destinations in Donegal. This is about delivering quality tourism development by enhancing a sustainable tourism product and raising awareness worldwide of the brand that is available here.”
Speaking about their €2.3 million investment in the visitor centre, Fiona Monaghan, Head of Activities at Fáilte Ireland, said: “A signature discovery point along the Wild Atlantic Way, Sliabh Liag is a key attraction for Donegal and one that supports Fáilte Ireland’s ambition to put Ireland on the ‘outdoor tourism destination’ map.”
“We are committed to building on the success of the Wild Atlantic Way. Investment in projects like this ensures that we can provide an unparalleled visitor experience and encourage visitors to explore lesser travelled parts of the West Coast. This in turn drives job creation and revenue growth in local areas.”
For more information about Sliabh Liag, visit the mountain’s website at www.sliabhliag.com.
Featured Image Credit – Paul McGuckin