Parking charges at the Cliffs of Moher are generating an increasing number of complaints.
The cliffs are one of Ireland’s best known tourist attractions and millions of people from across the world have flocked to West Clare to visit them.
However, complaints released by Clare County Council suggest not all of them come away happy; one driver wrote they had expected to be charged €10 for parking but were shocked to learn it was in fact €32.
Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast, local Fianna Fáil Councillor Shane Talty said it is always “disappointing” when a visitor has a bad experience.
“It’s a very small number of complaints, judging by the article, in the context of well in excess of a million visitors a year,” he said.
“The Cliffs of Moher is Ireland’s most visited natural attraction and I think in the context of in excess of one million visitors, you would expect to have a small number of complaints.”
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When asked whether €32 is a reasonable sum to charge people to park their car, Cllr Talty said the car park is a private business.
“It’s not a publicly free car park for people to decide to take a walk from it,” he said.
“There’s a charge for visiting the Cliffs of Moher Experience and it is a [contested] charge, it’s an annual debate I suppose whether it’s right or wrong.
“The Cliffs of Moher requires staff and management and there’s repayment on an investment that was made 20-years-ago, the loans on that are only now coming to conclusion.”
Another visitor complained they had arrived by bus but had still been charged a parking fee because their trip had generated a carbon footprint.
Cllr Talty described this as a “bit ridiculous” and reiterated that access to the cliffs themselves is free.
“[Complaints] should, I’m sure, be individually investigated and addressed with staff and management,” he said.
“There is a right of access to the Cliffs of Moher.”
The Cliffs of Moher Experience was named ‘Ireland’s Best Tourist Attraction’ this year by the Irish Independent’s annual Reader Travel Awards for 2023.
Main image: Tour buses parked at the Cliffs of Moher Experience. Picture by: Alamy.com