Fine Gael Minister Joe McHugh TD, today (Tuesday 15/12/2015) welcomed confirmation from the Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Michael Ring TD that over €396,000 will be awarded to Donegal County Council for a second phase in the development of visitor facilities at Malin Head.
Minister McHugh, “I am delighted that Phase II of the Malin Head project has been given the go ahead for works to commence. This work will include: Road widening to accommodate passing bays and associated drainage improvements and surfacing; Extending existing car park facilities to incorporate twenty one additional car and bus parking spaces; and the development of a new toilet block.
“Malin Head plays a key role along the Wild Atlantic Way as Ireland’s most Northerly Point, it is a priority location along the route and brings great benefits from tourism figures, which are on the increase. These works will enhance the experience by providing essential visitor facilities and present new opportunities for businesses and tours for individuals and groups at Malin Head.”
“Progress however, has not been thanks to any one group – it is a direct result of the community effort and buy in from the collective. I have worked closely with my colleague Councillor Bernard McGuinness on this project and trying to drive it forward. There has also been a great deal of drive from Donegal County Council to get the project off the ground, collaborating with Failte Ireland and working hard to secure this funding.”
Also welcoming today’s announcement, Fine Gael Councillor Bernard McGuinness, “Today is a very important day for Malin Head, but also for the Inishowen Peninsula. We have seen the increase in tourist numbers coming to visit this area and the developments that have been confirmed today are essential if we are to develop Malin Head into its full potential. I want to acknowledge the work and commitment of the whole community, who have ensured that this project was kept on the agenda of Failte Ireland and Donegal County Council.”
Following on from this Fáilte Ireland will be working closely with Donegal County Council on a Malin Head Experience Development Plan that will incorporate the wider Inishowen area. The plan is necessary because while Malin Head is recognised as the main attraction that will entice visitors up to the most northerly point of the island, the site in itself will not be sufficient to retain them for long. The extended ‘dwell time’ that is much sought after will actually be achieved by the range of ‘Supporting Experiences’ that exist and can be developed within the wider Inishowen Peninsula. Donegal County Council will work closely with Fáilte Ireland on this Plan to help ensure the area reaches its tourism potential.
The funding builds on Fáilte Ireland’s ongoing work to develop the Wild Atlantic Way and follows a recent announcement that photo markers and information points are being installed at all the discovery points along the route, including those in Donegal.