The official launch of the €400,000 second phase of works at Malin Head took place on Wednesday with the next phase focusing on delivering a Visitor Management Plan for the area.
Visitor numbers to Ireland’s most northerly point have grown substantially over recent years with an estimated 172,000 visitors in 2018.
This was thanks to a number of factors, including Malin Head’s position as either the starting or finishing point on the Wild Atlantic Way; the filming of Star Wars and the hosting of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at nearby Ballyliffin Golf Club in 2018.
Cathaoirleach of Inishowen Municipal District, Councillor Martin Farren, described the investment to date as an essential step in the creation of a top class visitor experience at Ireland’s most northerly point, which is now considered a signature discovery point or a ‘must visit’ site on the world renowned Wild Atlantic Way.
To facilitate this rise in visitor numbers to this iconic site, Donegal County Council has been working closely with a number of key stakeholders including Failte Ireland to put in place essential services to help capitalise on the visitor experience. These works included road widening to accommodate passing bays, drainage improvements and surfacing of 600m of road to the existing lower car park at Malin Head; road widening adjacent to the lower carpark to accommodate bus parking; extending existing car park facilities to incorporate additional car parking spaces and construction of toilet facilities adjacent the lower carpark, including installation of a wastewater holding tank.
This phase of the development also included the provision of services and utilities including water, electricity and telecoms to the site and these services will also be vital for future development at Malin Head.
Colr. Farren said the Visitor Management Plan will “set out a framework on how to build on the unique heritage and culture of the area whilst leveraging its position as the most northerly signature discovery point on the Wild Atlantic Way.”
Public consultation workshops on the issue began this week and next week across Inishowen.