Malin Head tourism drive steps up a gear

Ali Farren (right) with fellow locals Ashling Davis and Jim Mullin in front of Malin Head Pier, with the distinctive islet known locally as Saddle Rock in the background.
Ali Farren (right) with fellow locals Ashling Davis and Jim Mullin in front of Malin Head Pier, with the distinctive islet known locally as Saddle Rock in the background.
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The community in Malin Head have stepped up their campaign to ensure Ireland’s crowning glory becomes a major economic driver for Inishowen.

Local businesses and residents from the area have taken matters into their own hands by engaging directly with tourism providers on both sides of the border in an effort to spread the word about the unspoilt charms and untapped potential to be found at Ireland’s most northerly point.

Local business owners pictured at Bamba's Crown

Local business owners pictured at Bamba's Crown

They are now hopeful that a new flyer listing the attractions of the area will be displayed in tourist centres and other facilities right across Ireland.

Tourism organisation Visit Derry yesterday confirmed they will be stocking the brochure and said they saw Malin Head as one of the main tourist destinations for the region alongside the likes of Giant’s Causeway.

The new flyer was developed by the local community after they were “alarmed” at how little other tourism providers knew about Malin Head at a digital marketing seminar hosted by the Wild Atlantic Way and Donegal County Council in Donegal Town last November.

Local businessman Ali Farren said the Malin Head community remain determined and hopeful that greater tourist infrastructure will be secured for the area.

Local business owners pictured at Malin Head.

Local business owners pictured at Malin Head.

But he warned that the lack of any public transport links to Malin Head since the closure of Lough Swilly and its twice daily service to Malin Head last year is a major area of concern that needs urgent attention.

Mr Farren said: “We are trying to publicise and highlight Malin Head to attract more visitors to the area. “We are being proactive and we want to keep the momentum going to ensure the word goes out about what a unique and special place Malin Head is.

“We want to see a major, iconic structure at Malin Head which will become a major tourist attraction; infrastructure that will help create jobs and increase tourism not just for here but for the whole of Inishowen.”

Mr Farren said that such a centre would add to the recently developed walkways and viewing platform at Bamba’s Crown and help retain visitors by providing them with information about the area’s attractions, and accommodation etc as well as cafe and toilet facilities.

A central tourist hub would also help cater for the increasing number of people coming to the area, which is one of only three signature destinations on the Wild Atlantic Way route and has become a popular wildlife destination for dolphin and whale spotting and also rare bird watching, including the Corncrake and eagles.

Over recent times it has also become popular with sky gazers trying to spot the Northern Lights and with divers exploring the abundance of ship wrecks.

Odhran Dunne, General Manager at Derry Visitor, said that Malin Head was a real asset and selling point in terms of promoting the north west as a region.

He said: “There are great opportunities with regards working with Tourism Ireland at the moment, who have a big push on the Wild Atlantic Way.

“Derry and Inishowen have strong links in terms of tourism product and there is something very unique about the most northerly point, and having that so close.”