President Michael D Higgins will be invited to visit Donegal in 2017 and celebrate a historic year for Fanad Lighthouse.
Mayor of the Municipal District of Letterkenny, James Pat McDaid has proposed that an invitation be sent out to President Higgins to visit the lighthouse to mark its 200 year anniversary.
“I wouldn’t expect him to come up on the day since it is St. Patrick’s Day, but if he came up this year to mark the anniversary it would be great for the county,” McDaid told Donegal Daily.
Fanad Lighthouse was first lit on March 17, 1817 to protect seafarers and it is still operating today.
The iconic landmark has been newly renovated and was reopened to the public last year. It now offers guided tours and unique self-catering accommodation with breathtaking views overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
“An official visit would be great exposure to the lighthouse and the surrounding area of Letterkenny and Donegal, as well as bringing a good tourist return. Hopefully the President accepts the invitation,” McDaid said.
The Mayor’s motion to issue the invitation received the full backing of Donegal County Councillors at yesterday’s Letterkenny Municipal District.
“The lighthouse has a very hard-working committee who have done fantastic work over the past year. It had more than 20,000 visitors in 2016 which provides a huge boost to the community. It’s a huge number and we hope to build on that.
“I commend the hard-working committee and all the work they do. Donegal County Council has been very supportive of them financially this past number of years to help them achieve their plans. I also spoke with the committee and they agree that an official visit would be great for the lighthouse,” McDaid said.
Overlooking Malin Head, the most northerly point in Ireland, Fanad Lighthouse has been named as one of the most beautiful lighthouses in the world.