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Cliffs of Moher overtake Dublin Zoo in popularity

The Cliffs of Moher. Photo Anil Kingsley

The Cliffs of Moher now Ireland’s second most popular visitor attraction: Photo: Anil Kingsley

The Cliffs of Moher in Co Clare have overtaken Dublin Zoo to take 2nd place in the list of Ireland’s top tourist attractions.

While Dublin’s Guinness Storehouse continues to hold onto the top spot, the 214m (702 feet) high cliffs on the Atlantic coast has leapfrogged Dublin Zoo to second from top for the first time.

The popular Guinness-themed Storehouse, located at St James’ Gate in the capital, welcomed 1,269,371 visitors in 2014 breaking the previously held record of 1,156,985 in 2013.

Despite exceeding the 1 million visitor mark for a fourth consecutive year, Dublin Zoo has been knocked from it’s second place perch.

The final ‘footfall figure’ at Dublin Zoo reached an all-time high of 1,076,876 visitors in 2014. This does however make the zoo Ireland’s most popular ‘family’ visitor attraction.

However, the Cliffs of Moher attracted over 3,600 visitors more than Dublin Zoo last year after passing the 1 million number for the first time ever.

The €32m Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience was opened in February 2007 by Clare County Council. The project comprised a state of the art underground visitor centre building and development and extension of the cliff edge pathways, steps and viewing platforms.

In December, the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience confirmed it had reached the the 1 million visitor milestone while the final figure for 2014 has been confirmed as 1,080,501 an increase of 12.5% on the 960,134 visitors in 2013.  

Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience Director Katherine Webster said: “I believe it is the first time since the new visitor centre opened that we are in the number two slot. We have always been the most visited natural attraction and by a long way the most visited attraction outside of the capital city.”

“It is great to see that so many visitors are drawn to the west of Ireland, to county Clare and to the Wild Atlantic Way,” she said.

The Cliffs of Moher also saw more visitors than the eleven sites run by Ireland’s largest operator of tourist attractions.

Shannon Heritage, now part of the recently established Shannon Group plc, operates seven day-time and four evening attractions which drew a total of 637,000 visitors in 2014.

The 13th century King John’s Castle in Limerick was the most popular of the group’s attractions doubling its visitor numbers to 85,000 last year.

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The Clare Herald was established by Mark Dunphy in December 2007 as the foremost online news resource for County Clare in Ireland. It has since become an established online news outlet for the County providing breaking news updates to a growing domestic Irish and international audience. The site features local, business, sports and entertainment news from Clare. The Clare Herald website features contributors who have an impressive journalistic track record both in the local and national media.

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