Burren to host European Geopark Network event

Burren to host European Geopark Network event


Managers and geologists from over 60 European UNESCO Global Geoparks will this week gather in County Clare to attend an international meeting and to visit the Burren & Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark.

The Geopark, managed by Clare County Council, is hosting European Geoparks Network members from across the continent including Iceland, Croatia, Spain, Norway, Portugal, Germany, UK and Slovenia.

As well undertaking visits to local landmarks and tourism businesses, the Network will participate in a conference featuring presentations, discussions and displays on sustainable tourism at the Falls Hotel in Ennistymon on Friday (March 24th).

The 4-day programme of events coincides with 2017 being the UN Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.


The Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark has been working on sustainable tourism programmes for many years, with ongoing support and funding from Failte Ireland and the Geological Survey of Ireland.  The Geopark has benefited from funding under the EU LIFE programme for the past 4 years and with co-funding from Clare County Council, Failte Ireland, the Geological Survey of Ireland, the OPW, the National Monuments Service, the Heritage Council, UCD and NUIG.

Geopark LIFE has run a variety of tourism management projects with national agencies, local groups and businesses.  One of the most successful has been the development and growth of the Burren Ecotourism Network of tourism businesses committed to the sustainable future of the Burren and its tourism offering.

Pat Dowling, Chief Executive of Clare County Council, who will address Friday’s conference, said: “The visit of so many international Geopark representatives is a vote of confidence in the work being undertaken by the Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark in the sustainable rural and economic development of the Burren as well as the promotion and protection of the region’s unique landscape.”

“European Geoparks Network members are coming to Clare to discuss UNESCO Global Geopark Network business, to welcome new members into this ever growing network and to see the work of the Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark, particularly in sustainable tourism,” explained Carol Gleeson, Manager, Burren & Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark.

“The aim of the coming meeting is to consider international best practice and to explore new ideas on the type of environments and partnerships we need to create here in Ireland, and in Europe, for sustainable destinations such as the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark to flourish,” added Ms. Gleeson.


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.