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Tourist access to Wild Atlantic Way beauty spot blocked by landowner

Hope is rising that access to The Great Pollet Sea Arch in Donegal can be restored.
Seamus McKinney

TALKS are underway in Co Donegal after access was blocked to on one of Ireland’s most spectacular natural wonders.

Tourists hoping to visit the Great Pollet Sea Arch off the Fanad peninsula have found their way blocked since last week after a landowner closed a path from the road to the coast.

A huge sea stack just off of the north eastern coast of the Fanad Peninsula, the beauty spot is a perfect example of a sea arch.

Just yards out from the coast, a huge opening has been eroded in the rock by the Atlantic Ocean.

A popular stop-off point for people travelling Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, the sea arch draws large numbers of tourists every year.

However, visitors to the arch found a turnstile onto a path leading to the attraction blocked with stones and barbed wire and trespass warning signs erected last week. The move, by the owner of the land, sparked a furious response from local people.

An online protest page and petition was established and a number of people took part in a “March to the Arch” demonstration last weekend.

The organiser of the protest, Declan Dorrian said people were angry because access to the arch had never been a problem in the past.

While access is still possible via a beach at Doagh Beg, the route is more inaccessible and difficult to find.

Donegal County Council has confirmed it is aware of the problem.

A spokeswoman said: “The council is currently seeking to establish the legal position with regard to the action taken, which appears to have been taken by private individuals, in advance of determining what role, if any, the council may have in resolving same.”

It is understood talks between the landowner and a number of groups are ongoing in an effort to find a resolution.

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