NEW ‘interpretation panels’ are set to start appearing at landmarks along with Wild Atlantic Way in West Cork, over the coming months.
Fáilte Ireland has announced the installation of the panels at all of its 188 ‘Discovery Points’ along the route.
‘The panels feature local stories that bring the Wild Atlantic Way proposition to life at each Discovery Point location,’ a spokesperson said.
The stories were identified as a direct result of local consultation and engagement with local historians, heritage officers and other local experts.
Already panels have been erected in Donegal, Sligo, Mayo and Galway, with signs for the southern stretch, down to West Cork, due in the coming weeks. Fáilte Ireland’s head of the Wild Atlantic Way, Fiona Monaghan explained the thinking behind the new panels: ‘The rationale for the panels is to provide visitors with local stories which will add layers to the Wild Atlantic Way experience and bring each of our existing discovery points to life for tourists.
‘A key part of this phase of our development of the Wild Atlantic Way project has been a close and productive partnership with local experts and historians as well as with the individual local authorities along the route,’ Fiona explained.
Last year, Fáilte Ireland developed what they called ‘Photo Points’ at each of the Discovery Points and Embarkation Points along the route, although many of these drew criticism from some locals. The points were accompanied by large rust-coloured L-shaped signs that were meant to be used as frames for social media photos.
Unfortunately, some critics likened the signs to a hangman’s noose or a ‘gallows’, and described them variously as ‘eyesores’ and ‘blights’ on the landscape.
It was reported that Failte Ireland had spent more than €400,000 on the signs, which are made of steel.
The new interpretation panels are being installed next to each of these ‘Photo Points’ and are intended to tell visitors a little of the history and heritage of the area.
Each panel also includes historic or scenic images, a small motivational map and identifies some other local points of interest – with a call to ‘Discover more’.