Grianan Aileach opening hours are expanded

THE Donegal resident who began the campaign to have An Grianan Aileach Fort at Burt open all hours is to continue her campaign despite the office of Public Works (OPW) expanding the opening hours.

Bettina Linke, an East German national who has been living in Inishowen for the past 28 years began a petition to allow local people and visitors access what is one of the country’s most historic site, at all hours.

Grianan Aileach, which is a national monument, is a popular gathering point during the summer and winter solstice sunrises and for the equinox alignments in March and September.


Speaking to the Donegal News this week Bettina said she will continue the petition and encouraged those who visit Grianan Aileach to sign it.

“It is very unfortunate they put a gate and lock there in September. Up until then you could come and go to the historic site morning, noon and night. We are asking for full access.

“Just recently we were at the entrance and there were French tourists there. The signs were still on the gates saying it was closed after they used Google translate. We were able to explain to them that the actual monument was open.

“I will keep the petition going until the OPW do what we are asking them to do. It is such an important site for local people as well” she added.

An Grianán of Aileach is a hilltop fort that dates to the Ninth Century BC and has spectacular views over the surrounding countryside.

The site now opens from 8 am until 6 pm every day, the OPW has said. Bettina’s campaign was echoed by Sinn Féin TD Pádraig MacLochlainn calling for round the clock access.

“An Grianán of Aileach is part of our community, part of our heritage. It has been argued by historians that An Grianán of Aileach is as important to Irish history as the Hill of Tara.


“The problem as a public representative is there just hasn’t been dialogue with the local community”.

The OPW said the new opening hours came into effect on Friday “save for such occasions of national storm alerts when the site, for the safety of all, will have to be closed”.

Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere

and get access to our archive editions dating back to 2007
Every Thursday
Every Monday

Donegal News is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. St. Anne's Court, Letterkenny, County Donegal, Ireland