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The opening of Gobbins cliff path is delayed yet again

By Noel McAdam

The opening of Northern Ireland's newest tourist attraction - the Gobbins in east Antrim - has been delayed again.

The spectacular cliffhead path, which has been compared with the Cliffs of Moher in Co Clare, was due to open this month.

But it will be at least the middle of August before visitors are allowed, missing the main chunk of the tourism season this year.

Councillors on the new Mid and East Antrim Borough Council have voiced shock and disappointment at the latest postponement, which comes as the attraction is being promoted internationally.

Gordon Lyons, a member of the Gobbins steering group, said there were two main reasons for the delay: "Firstly, there was a problem getting the last bridge into place, which required some additional engineering work.

"And secondly, the emergency services need to carry out a full health and safety check, and it came as quite a shock to councillors to find this could not be done by the planned opening date of July 9."

The DUP councillor added: "We are obviously very disappointed but we have to ensure the safety of customers."

A council spokeswoman said: "Health and Safety and well-being of the public is of paramount importance to Mid and East Antrim Borough Council and particularly important for the Gobbins which is such a dramatic natural attraction.

"As part of the arrangements for the final opening of the Gobbins, Council continues to work with the emergency services to ensure that all necessary safety arrangements are in place," he said.

"Council continues to look forward to the opening to the public of this significant tourist attraction during August.

"We feel proud and positive it will be available to the public for many years to come."

Belfast Telegraph


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