All of County Donegal will now be included in an Atlantic Drive tourism route initiative, Failte Ireland confirmed today.
When the route was originally announced, it was due to end at Sliabh Liag.
Donegal North East Sinn Féin TD, Pádraig Mac Lochlainn, who took up the case, has welcomed confirmation that all of Donegal is to be included in Fáilte Ireland’s “Wild Atlantic Drive” tourism route incorporating the ‘Inishowen 100’, Letterkenny, the Fanad and Rosguill peninsulas, and the drive down West Donegal from Dunfanaghy to Sliabh Liag via Gaoth Dobhair as Deputy Mac Lochlainn had requested in his representations.
He had raised the matter with Fáilte Ireland after fears emerged from our readers that North and West Donegal might be excluded from the initiative.
He said: “I am delighted to receive this important news. Our tourism providers and promoters in North and West Donegal have been working so hard to bring visitors to the entire county and any suggestion that they would be left out of the “Wild Atlantic Drive” would have been a body blow to them.
“With the news that the 2013 Fleadh is to come to Derry, this has been a week of really good news for our region and a vote of confidence in our collective efforts.”
Paddy Matthews, Project Manager, Wild Atlantic Drive told the TD: “We are delighted to know that you share our enthusiasm for the concept of the Wild Atlantic Drive tourism route.
“I am also pleased to reassure you that it has been Fáilte Ireland’s intention from the outset to include all of Donegal in the route and not just the southern portion of the county.
“As you will appreciate, we are still at the very early stages of planning for the project, and so the precise route has still to be agreed upon. It is likely however, that the route will comprise of a central spine, which may be the national secondary road along the west coast, with a number of coastal loops and diversions off it, thus providing visitors with a range of options designed to encourage them to stay longer in each destination.
“With regard to Donegal, we are certainly looking to include the best that this amazing coastline has to offer, including the ‘Inishowen 100’, Letterkenny, the Fanad and Rosguill peninsulas, and the drive down West Donegal from Dunfanaghy to Sliabh Liag. We are working to have a project masterplan in place by April this year and will begin detailed planning on the route thereafter.”
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