Warning about rockfalls and mudslides on cliff trail

Warning about rockfalls and mudslides on cliff trail


Cliffs of Moher Trail
Walkers have been warned to say away from the trail which is in a dangerous condition – Pic Eamon Ward

Management at the Cliffs of Moher in Co Clare have warned of the dangers of rock and mud slides following last weekend’s severe weather.

The Cliffs of Moher Coast Walk was pounded by torrential rain last weekend leaving sections of the popular track flooded and in a dangerous condition.

There have been four incidents in the past week where walkers sustained injuries requiring hospitalisation. One person had to be airlifted to hospital.

Many of the recent incidents happened at locations where walkers strayed from the official cliff trail to get close to the cliff edge to take photographs.

While rockfalls are not uncommon in the area, last weekends severe weather conditions have resulted in more frequent incidents prompting management at the cliffs to issue an urgent warning.

Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience Director Katherine Webster said: “Following the recent storms the Cliffs Coastal Trail is in a very dangerous condition.”

“There have been multiple mudslides and rockfalls and there are many sections of cliff edge that are unstable and may fall at any time. We are appealing to visitors not to walk the trail at the moment as it is not safe,” she added.

There have been several dramatic rockfalls at the cliffs this year including one in May that was captured on camera.

Doolin Coast Guard Cliff Trail Rescue
Doolin Coast Guard has to used a custom-built stretcher to recover injured walkers

The Doolin unit of the Irish Coast Guard has also responded to as many as a dozen incidents in the past year where people had been injured in falls along the 20km trail.

Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.