‘Tourists drive away in disgust’


Anti social behaviour keeps barriers up at Grianán


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Alleged anti-social behaviour at Grianán of Aileach means that the Office of Public Works will not extend opening hours at the monument.

A barrier on a road leading to the fort is closed at 9pm each night, re-opening at 9am the following morning, with dozens of visitors turning away each day.

Two visitors have complained to this newspaper in recent weeks when they attempted to visit the iconic ring fort but were turned back at the barrier.

One visitor fumed at the closed barrier that prevented him and his young family from visiting the monument to watch the sun set.

“It was around 9.30pm. The barrier was closed and there were eight cars parked at the bottom, and another three or four others drove away in disgust in the couple of minutes I was there,” he said.

“Inishowen sure does tourism well when making it impossible for families with small children, elderly people or disabled people to go up there.

“Closing a monument like this would not be allowed to happen in somewhere like Kerry that takes its tourism seriously.”

The barrier is located about half a mile away from the car park on the hill summit. While people can walk around the side of the barrier and make the steep climb to the top on foot, there is no way through for prams or wheelchairs.

In a statement, the Office of Public Works (OPW), which has responsibility for managing the monument, says there is a “specific and continuing significant anti-social behaviour problem, after hours in particular, at this site and controlling the access road to the fort helps mitigate this issue”.

“The OPW regrets the need for this action and would prefer if it were possible to accommodate evening access by responsible visitors; however, past experience has proven that this is not possible.”

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Donna Roddy