09 July 2013

#267 Dublin, Ireland

The Cliffs of Moher (IrishAillte an Mhothair) are located at the southwestern edge of the Burren region in County ClareIreland. They rise 120 metres (390 ft) above the Atlantic Ocean at Hag's Head, and reach their maximum height of 214 metres (702 ft) just north of O'Brien's Tower, eight kilometres to the north.

The cliffs take their name from an old fort called Moher that once stood on Hag's Head, the southernmost point of the cliffs. The writer Thomas Johnson Westropp referred to it in 1905 as Moher Uí Ruis or Moher Uí Ruidhin. The fort still stood in 1780 and is mentioned in an account from John Lloyd's a Short Tour Of Clare (1780). It was demolished in 1808 to provide material for a new telegraph tower. The present tower near the site of the old Moher Uí Ruidhin was built as a lookout tower during the Napoleonic wars.

O'Brien's Tower marks the highest point of the Cliffs of Moher in County ClareIreland, located a short distance from the village Doolin, famous for its traditional Irish music. The tower is also near Liscannor a coastal village famous for its slate flagstones which were used for fencing purposes.

The tower was built on the cliffs in 1835 by local landlord Sir Cornellius O'Brien as an observation tower for the hundreds of Victorian tourists that frequented the cliffs at the time. Another version tells of O'Brien building the tower in order to impress women he was courting. On a clear day the view can extend as far as Loop Head at the southern tip of Clare and beyond to the mountains of Kerry. Looking north from O'Brien's Tower on clear days, the Twelve Bens in Connemara (also known as the Twelve Pins) beyond Galway Bay can be seen, and typically the Aran Islands to the west.

Folklore holds that Sir Cornellius O'Brien was a man ahead of his time, believing that the development of tourism would benefit the local economy and bring people out of poverty. O'Brien also built a wall of Moher flagstones along the Cliffs and it is said in the locality that he built everything in the area except the cliffs. He died in 1857 and his remains lie in the O'Brien vault in the graveyard adjoining St Brigid’s Well.

Date of Issue: May 2, 2013 | Europa 2013 "The Postman Van"
Thank you, Monika !
Sent on: July 4, 2013
Received on: July 9, 2013

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