Two Donegal TD’s are demanding that Inishowen features prominently in Fáilte Ireland proposed new major tourism initative, ‘Wild Atlantic Drive’
In a letter to Alex Connolly, head of Communications at Failte Ireland, Sinn Fein’s Padraig MacLochlainn wrote: “I am emailing you as a TD for Donegal North East to urge your colleagues in Fáilte Ireland to ensure that all of Donegal’s fantastic coastline is incorporated into your exciting plans for the “Wild Atlantic Drive”. If one of the starting or end points of the drive were to be Derry City, then you could include the “Inishowen 100”, Letterkenny, the “Atlantic Drive” around the Fanad and Rosguill peninsulas, and then take in the breathtaking Atlantic drive down West Donegal from Dunfanaghy to Sliabh League’s cliffs.”
Referring to media coverage locally the Buncrana based TD said there was real concern in North and West Donegal that we would be left out of this initiative and for a region working really hard to improve and market our tourism offer, this would be a real blow and the fact that Fáilte Ireland would preside over it, all the worse.
He concluded: “I trust that you will work with the tourism promoters in North and West Donegal to ensure that they are part of your plans.
Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil TD Charlie McConalogue insists that Ireland’s most northerly point is the obvious choice to start or end the route.
Deputy McConalogue said: “Banba’s Crown Malin Head is Ireland’s most northerly point and it makes sense that the Atlantic Drive route would start or end here. It is an amazing place with stunning views and there are efforts locally to establish a visitors’ centre there. The Atlantic Drive route would contribute greatly to this cause. I believe it is an exciting initiative and could boost tourism significantly. People love Ireland for our culture, hospitality and spectacular scenery. There is significant potential for tourism with relatively small investment required for outdoor activities which maximise our best resource, our natural environment.
“I believe that with the right mix of support from Fáilte Ireland and coordinated efforts, tourism providers will rise to the challenge of delivering a natural tourism product.
“I understand that the route has not yet been fully determined but I do believe it must embrace the entire County of Donegal. I have contacted Fáilte Ireland to put the case for the route beginning or ending at Banba’s Crown, Malin Head and continuing through Inishowen.
“I think it not only makes sense but will make for a spectacular route,” said Deputy McConalogue.