*Leonard Cleary, Director of Tourism Development and West Clare Municipal District for Clare County Council, Sheila Browne, Project Co-ordinator, Cliffs of Moher Experience and Eoin Hogan, Rural Recreation Officer, Clare Local Development Company, pictured on the Cliffs of Moher Coastal Walk, which is the subject of a new management plan. Photograph: Arthur Ellis.

A NEW MANAGEMENT plan has been agreed for the Cliffs of Moher Coastal Walk.

39 landowners along the route are being engaged in relation to the future development of the amenity, which is situated at the heart of the Wild Atlantic Way in Co Clare.

Stretching from Doolin to Liscannor and along the world-famous Cliffs of Moher, the 18km route has become firmly established as one of the West of Ireland’s most popular walking trails since its launch in 2013.

Concern on the future of the coastal walk had been voiced by Cllr Liam Grant (GP) and Cllr Joe Garrihy (FG) in February of last year regarding its accessibility and maintenance as the contract for this was entering its final year. At the time, senior officials in Clare County Council had said the existing model wasn’t feasible.

Under a joint initiative between Clare County Council, Clare Local Development Company (CLDC), Fáilte Ireland and the Department of Rural and Community Development, the proposed new ‘Management Plan for the Cliffs of Moher Coastal Walk’ will set out how the trail will be managed, protected, and maintained in the future.

A series of public information evenings for landowners and other key stakeholders will be held in the coming weeks ahead of further engagement with the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), IFA, and local tourism and community sectors.

Leonard Cleary, Director of Tourism Development and West Clare Municipal District for Clare County Council, said the Coastal Walk has proven to be an invaluable addition to Clare’s tourism offering over the past ten years, adding that the economic benefit of the walk has grown during this time. “The walk has proven to be hugely successful in attracting visitors who stay longer and spend more in the towns and villages in Clare, and it has particularly benefited the hospitality sector in Doolin and Liscannor”.

He added, “This contributes to sustaining the local economy and jobs for our next generation. It is important, therefore, that all stakeholders, including landowners along the route and others, are given a central role in guiding the scale and scope of the plan”.

Doirin Graham, CEO of Clare Local Development Company, commented, “In conjunction with our partner agencies, we look forward to working with landowners and the community in a planned and managed way to pave a new sustainable future for the Coastal Walk”.

Fiona Monaghan, Head of Product Development, Fáilte Ireland, said, “Fáilte Ireland is committed to the sustainable development of tourism in County Clare by working hand in hand with Clare County Council, CLDC and the Department to progress this important management plan, which will be of significant benefit to visitors and to the farmers and landowners along its route”.

Clare County Council this week has advertised a tender to procure a Specialist Consultant to develop the ‘Management Plan for the Cliffs of Moher Coastal Walk’, which is expected to be developed by mid-2025. The plan is managed by an oversight group comprising the Tourism Development Directorate of Clare County Council, CLDC, the Department of Rural and Community Development, Fáilte Ireland, and the Cliffs of Moher Experience.

The Department of Rural and Community Development is funding the plan with support funding provided by Clare County Council and Fáilte Ireland.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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