Monday, 29 June 2015

Malin Head Marine Tourism Launch

A warm welcome was extended at the launch of The Malin Head tourism project, celebrated at the community centre, Malin Head on Tuesday 16th of June. It was formally opened by Mayor Ciaran Brogan following speeches and brief overview of the project. This projects aim is to develop facilities at Malin Head which is the first designated iconic signature point of The Wild Atlantic Way. Pictured at the site viewing platform were Chairman of Inishowen Tourism, Johnny McGuinness, Interim Marketing Manager, Siobhan Kelly, and Councillor Bernard McGuinness.

Since 2014, the “Wild Atlantic Way” has gained momentum in terms of the visitor numbers. In particular, Malin Head has visitor numbers that are in excess of 100,000. The marketing campaign supported by Failte Ireland, is clearly recording a huge benefit in terms of visitor interest. Embarking a journey of a lifetime from the northwest, plus being in close proximity of the Causeway Coast, has created a positive contribution to the overall success of increased visitor numbers here in Inishowen.

The Malin project is one of several Loughs Agency marine tourism and angling development projects funded through European Union’s INTERREG IVA programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body. The Malin Head project is part of Donegal County Councils ongoing initiative to develop the area as a world-class visitor destination. Speaking at the event, Donegal County Council Chief Executive Seamus Neely reiterated the local authority commitment to developing signature destination points along the Wild Atlantic Way, stating that “the Malin Head project is an addition to the strategic tourism development being carried out at Sliabh Liag and Fanad Lighthouse and places the county in a strong position to benefit from the aggressive international marketing of the Wild Atlantic Way

Funding amounting to €220,341 was secured to complete a number of actions. These improvements included widening of roads to allow ease of access, upgraded parking area, pathways, and providing seating along the Malin Head point, Banbas Crown and Hells Hole area. An additional viewing platform showcases the fabulous views across to Inishtrahull Island and the Scottish Isles. Interpretative signage panels and advise and inform visitors of trail conditions and the wildlife to be seen.

The Northern Assembly Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Michelle O’Neill was represented at the opening by Cathal Ó hOisín, MLA. Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Joe McHugh TD also spoke at the event and added: “Under the banner of the Wild Atlantic Way, Malin Head will benefit from a now internationally recognised brand which has been a resounding success for tourism on the western seaboard."

It was reported that support was vital from the local landowners and Malin Head Community Association. This project is the result of all the hard work put in by the Malin Head Steering Group, chaired by Inishowen Development Partnership. Praising the community involvement was Municipal District Cathaoirleach, Cllr Rena Donaghey, in terms of both developing and rolling out the actions on the ground. Furthermore, during the speeches it was reported that this project was a great example of collaboration from all those involved at every level, and would be seen as such going forward to future development in other areas of Donegal.

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