The cliffs of Moher really were a stunning sight to sea. Located in county Clare and just south from the Village Doolin and the Burren, lies the cliffs which are approximately 700 feet from the water and stretch south for nearly five miles to Hags head. According to the museum, The Cliffs of Moher were originally the site of a gigantic river delta and were formed nearly 320 million years ago during the Carboniferous period. Unlike the Aran Islands, the color of the stone was different, in fact a brown color. Also, due to the fact that we could actually walk on these cliffs, as opposed to the Aran Islands, we could see layers of sediment showing the millions upon millions of years that it took for time to naturally erode the cliffs into shape.
When facing the ocean at the cliffs you can plainly see O’Brien’s Tower on the right side. Built in 1835 by Cornelius O’Brien a descendant of Brian Boru, Kings of Thomond, as an observation point for the hundreds of tourists who even then, visited the Cliffs. The tower stands as a beacon for Cliffs of Moher, though I was a bit disappointed with how clean and restored it looked seeing how it was built in the 1830’s and restored, relatively, not too long ago. Though I would come to realize that this site is one of the world’s first tourist attractions, Cornelius believed that the development of tourism would benefit the local economy and bring people out of poverty. He also built a wall of Moher flagstones along the Cliffs. I found this interesting because, at least as an economic primary, it is commonly taught that a robust tourism economy helps pump additional money into an economy and thus increasing wages, demand for goods, and of course profits.
My parents told me that they went and saw the cliffs nearly thirty years ago and have never forgotten it. I too will never forget it, it is probably the one of the most awe-inspiring landscapes on the planet, and I am glad that I saw it with my own eyes.
Hughes, N. 2014. O’Briens Tower Cliffs of Moher. [online] Available at: http://www.cliffs-moher.com/tower.php [Accessed: 16 Apr 2014].