Sheer disappointment as Cliffs of Moher lose out in 'seven wonders' race


THE CLIFFS of Moher have lost out in a long-running competition to be named as one of the world’s new “seven wonders”.

Among the attractions named provisionally as the New7Wonders of Nature are the Amazon Rainforest, Table Mountain in South Africa and Indonesia’s Komodo Island.

The 702ft Co Clare cliffs had been among 28 finalists worldwide in the contest – which was organised by Swiss foundation New7Wonders – but they failed to reach the final 14 in Zurich last night.

The four other provisional winners are Halong Bay (Vietnam), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Jeju Island (South Korea), and Puerto Princesa Underground River (Philippines). Organisers said the voting would be checked and independently verified before the winners are confirmed at a ceremony early next year.

Fáilte Ireland had predicted visitors to the cliffs would rise by up to 35 per cent, while an independent audit forecast that Ireland would have benefited by up to €700 million in revenue over five years if they were named as a natural wonder.

Cliffs of Moher director Katherine Webster thanked all those who had supported the campaign over the past four years. Mayor of Clare Councillor Pat Hayes expressed disappointment but said: “More people than ever have heard of the Cliffs of Moher now.”

Fianna Fáil’s spokesman on tourism and Clare TD Timmy Dooley criticised the Government saying said they “failed to harness the potential of his great asset we have in Clare”.

“The Government should have used our network of offices around the world to promote the campaign and if it had been properly co-ordinated and orchestrated at Government level, we would have had a far better chance,” he added.