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'White-knuckle' Gobbins cliff path to reopen by May Day

Published 05/04/2016

The Gobbins clifftop path was forced to close because of storm damage and a landslide in January
The Gobbins clifftop path was forced to close because of storm damage and a landslide in January

An Edwardian coastal tourist attraction in Northern Ireland will be reopened by May Day, it has been confirmed.

The Gobbins cliff path in Islandmagee, Co Antrim, had been forced to close because of storm damage and a landslide in January, causing hundreds of bookings to be cancelled.

Billy Ashe, mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, said: "We have been working hard to get the path open as quickly as possible and are looking forward to welcoming visitors."

The two-mile "white-knuckle" walk along the cliff face first opened to the public in 1902.

It fell into disrepair and was shut in the 1950s but was restored following a £7.5 million investment last August.

Its closure just months later could not have been predicted, said Mr Ashe.

"Whilst the council recognises that the closure may have caused disappointment, it would like to reiterate that an independent report commissioned has confirmed that the resultant landslip and damage to the access paths caused by the severe weather conditions was unforeseeable.

"The attraction is of great importance to the local tourism sector and is a long-term investment project.

"The council is confident The Gobbins will continue to deliver economic benefits to the local area and is looking forward to the summer season," he said.

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