Common sense needed to solve Glenveagh parking issues – claim

LOCAL businesses and tourist providers around Glenveagh National Park and the west of the county this week condemned “the lack of common sense” at the popular tourist attraction which saw a ‘car park full’ notice being displayed on a number of days over recent weeks.

This led potential tourists to turn around and drive away as they could not get in. Many of these were seen to head east appearing to be leaving the county.

In April of this year a further 60 car parking spaces were opened at the national park entrance, bringing the total car parking spaces to 280.


There are plans in place for the overall redevelopment of the car park area which will generate up to 500 spaces. However, that development is not expected to be started for a number of years.

Local businesses man Kieran Roarty of Roarty’s Shop in Dunlewey said last week was not the first time this season that the car park closed sign was out on the main entrance to the county’s largest tourist attraction.

Last week he posted the photograph and statement on Facebook: “As a local business owner I was very disheartened as I passed Glenveagh National Park yesterday to see this sign out by the roadside. This side of Donegal has always had to work a lot harder to get the tourists in and for the National Park to display this sign that they are not able to cater for large crowds is not acceptable.

“There is plenty of room to extend the car park, if this was done the tourists would be able to visit this attraction and it would steer them further into the north west instead of turning and going the opposite direction when they see this sign. Where are our local councillors on this matter and also the condition of the back of Errigal Road at moment needs serious attention.”

“I saw that sign out twice in one week earlier on. A lot of small businesses depend on tourism in Donegal and the spin off from Glenveagh visitors, but someone from Glenveagh has decided to put that sign out and turn people away.

“I sat for around five minutes the day I took the photograph to see what was happening. Eight or nine cars came out while I was there but there was no one to tell potential visitors that eight or nine cars could be allowed in.

“When your jewel in the crown puts up a sign to say they are more or less closed, it does not help your neighbours. I put the post up to express my annoyance and it did get 100 shares and a lot of comments agreeing with me. I did get one or two comments saying it was a national park and not a tourist thing,” Mr Roarty said.


Meanwhile local Councillor Michael McClafferty said the matter was being very badly handled by management at Glenveagh.

He had contacted Mr Roarty and was horrified to learn that no staff were on hand to manage cars out and in.

He called on the Department of Heritage to consider the many villages and businesses nearby who depend on the tens of thousands of people who visit Glenveagh every year.

“There is plenty of space in the national park and around the area to create further car parking which is obviously needed. When people come to visit Glenveagh and are turned away due to lack of car parking it kills any feel-good factor and has the ability to turn people off Donegal. I will be raising the issue at Council and with Glenveagh.

“We need common sense to prevail and have someone on the gate allowing one car out and another car in. We have the technology to count cars in and out.

You see it in Letterkenny with the information displayed for the various car parks. That would do if they did not want to pay someone to stand at the entrance.

What we are seeing here is a lack of common sense,” Cllr McClafferty said.

The Donegal News contacted the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) regarding the parking issue at Glenveagh, however, no reply had been received at the time of going to press.

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