Great News for Rural Ireland and the Wild Atlantic Way

Malin Head, the most northerly point of Ireland, hosted the launch of an exciting and innovative new partnership on Monday 9th July between Local Link Transport and Failte Ireland, Wild Atlantic Way while Minister Joe McHugh introduced a new local link public transport service Route 955 Buncrana to Carndonagh to Malin Head.

This new collaborative partnership was launched today by the Minster of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin TD.  Speaking at the launch, Minister Griffin congratulated Fáilte Ireland and Local Link for their collaboration, saying “Collaborations are key to driving tourism initiatives across the country.  By aligning interests and sharing expertise, the resulting streamlined offering capitalises on our assets for the maximum benefit of the local area”.  Referring specifically to the new Donegal Local Link service and others to follow under the partnership, Minister Griffin added: “In addition to providing a local transport service, the new routes resulting from this partnership will greatly enhance visitors’ ability to access a range of tourism attractions along the Wild Atlantic Way, thus enhancing the tourist experience and further growing the brand”.

Recognising the opportunity and potential that this partnership offers, Fiona O’Shea, Manager at Local Link Donegal said “this partnership will give Local Link Offices along the Wild Atlantic Way, the opportunity to follow the Donegal model and will work closely with Fáilte Ireland for planning and promoting transport services.   Here in Donegal we have transport services connecting to signature discovery points, namely The Fanad Light House, Sliabh Liag, Glenveagh National Park, Both Aran Mór And Tory Islands and now full access to the iconic Malin Head. Tourists availing of these services can have a real Donegal welcome, sample the warm hospitality of our local people and knowledge of our dedicated drivers while accessing the hidden gems of the Wild Atlantic Way

“Improving public transport links between our key attractions and to our signature discovery points is essential if we are to disperse our international visitors along the Wild Atlantic Way route. Working with the National Transport Authority and Local Link on the ground gives us the potential to increase visitor numbers to rural areas and extend the season in every county on the Wild Atlantic Way, both of which are key priorities for Fáilte Ireland. This new bus service to Malin Head is a great development for visitors and the Inishowen tourism industry” said Miriam Kennedy, Head of Operations, Wild Atlantic Way, Fáilte Ireland

The National Transport Authority (NTA) welcomes this partnership between Local Link and Fáilte Ireland and the opportunities it presents in supporting the Wild Atlantic Way initiative and in turn support existing Local Link services on the Wild Atlantic Way.

 We want to acknowledge the great work that Local Link Donegal has undertaken in delivering Local Link services and the on-going work with Fáilte Ireland in promoting services on this section of the Wild Atlantic Way.

“We are confident this initiative will be successful in all Local Links that incorporate services on the Wild Atlantic Way” says Margaret Malone, Rural Transport Programme Manager, “and we look forward to similar strategic partnerships and the possible opportunities it presents with Local Link Services in Irelands Ancient East and Irelands Hidden Heartlands”.