Fáilte Ireland launched the Wild Atlantic Way in 2014 with the aim of promoting tourism and economic development along the west coast of Ireland. Since then, visitor numbers to the area have increased and there have been many economic benefits. However, increased visitor numbers have led to the further deterioration of archaeological sites on the west coast of Ireland.
Stefanie says: “I want to protect and preserve our heritage sites along Wild Atlantic Way so that more of them can be opened to the public and we can allow visitors to the sites without any further deterioration happening.”
The needs of archaeology, tourism, community and government sectors involved in the management of archaeological heritage and tourism can be met when a best practice guide is put in place. No such guide has been developed yet, and little research has been undertaken in this area in Ireland. The output of this project will be an overall best practice document for the management of a range of archaeological tourism sites.
Although this document will focus on sites along the Wild Atlantic Way, it is anticipated that it will have a much wider national and international application.
The research project is conducted under the supervision of archaeologists Dr Fiona Beglane and Sam Moore at the Sligo campus, and Dr Conor McTiernan, at the Letterkenny campus. It is funded by the Connacht-Ulster Alliance (CUA).