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Did You Know? The Cliffs of Moher, County Clare, Ireland

ireland cliffs of moher2

The Cliffs of Moher, stretching eight kilometres along the Atlantic coastline of County Clare, are one of the most iconic features of Ireland’s landscape. The cliffs are believed to be over 320 million years old. Ireland’s ancient rivers laid down sediments of sandstone, siltstone and shale on the seabed to form the cliffs. They stand 702 feet at their highest point and on a clear day one may see the Aran Islands and Galway Bay to the west as well as the Dingle Peninsula and the Blasket Islands in Kerry. The Cliffs of Moher mean ‘the cliffs of the ruined fort’ although there is no trace remaining of the two-thousand-year-old Mothar or Moher Fort. This fort stood until at least 1780 until it was demolished in 1808 to provide material for the new Moher Tower. The current tower stands close to the old fort. It stands on Hag's Head at the southern end of the cliffs.

Cornelius O’ Brien, a descendant of the High King Brian Ború, was a local landowner who believed that developing tourism would benefit the local economy and bring the people out of poverty. He had O’Brien’s Tower built in 1835 as a viewing area for 19th-century visitors. He also built a six foot high and five-mile long wall along the Cliffs of Moher which remnants have been restored along the length of the Cliffs. By the time O’Brien died in 1857, visitors to the Cliffs of Moher were starting to grow.

Cliffs of Moher3O’Brien’s Tower was restored in the early 1970s and opened in 1974 for visitors. Visitor numbers increased substantially from approximately 100,000 in 1978 to 250,000 in 1988.

With these large numbers of visitors, the visitor centre built in 1978 became no longer equipped so in 2007 Clare County Council opened the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience. This centre is more than equipped to cater to the one million plus visitors that now pass through its doors every year.

Join Tour Host, Jo-Anne Tinlin, and her group when they visit the Cliffs of Moher and more of Ireland’s beautiful landscapes on The Travel Broker's "Exploring Ireland Coast to Coast" tour. Everyone is welcome.


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