Mullaghmore, County Clare

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County Clare
Mullaghmore hill in County Clare.jpg
Mullaghmore hill (right)
Range: The Burren
Summit: 673 feet R296954
53°0’29"N, 9°0’8"E

Mullaghmore (form the Irish meaning "Great Summit") is a limestone hill reaching 591 feet above sea level in the heart of the Burren in the north of County Clare. The hill rises up near Corofin, and is part of a hiking trail called the Mullaghmore Loop in the Burren National Park.

The north slope of the Burren is a seemingly barren landscape of bare limestone slopes, which is exemplified well on Mullaghmore, though life protrudes where any soil is able to gather and the cracks in the limestone pavements bristle green amongst the unworldly grey mass.

Mullaghmore accommodates the greater part of the Burren National Park, framed by the Slieve Rua hills to the east and Clifden Hill to the west. The rocks of Mullaghmore consist of carboniferous limestone, a sedimentary rock that was laid down under the sea 350 million years ago.

The limestone of Mullaghmore, carved by ancient ice and interminable weather, has produced a mountain of unique shape.


A rough path is marked out from the road all the way to the summit of the mountain, sensitively done with minimal interference to the unique landscape. The Burren is characterised by turloughs; temporary lakes which vary in size depending on the weather, and which are found almost uniquely ion the Burren, and Lough Bunny, a large green turlough will greet the visitor by the car park. For here the green lake, the limestone pavement and a variety of hard wildflowers greet the hiker heading up the rock mountain.

The hillside is a contradiction: barren and bare but with beautiful flowers and plants abounding where they can cling on. The summit is marked by a large pile of rocks and offers views of the Burren that are second to none.

Mullaghmore may conveniently be made part of a longer trek over neighbouring stone hills with it..

Sights around Mullaghmore

"Father Ted's House", Glenquin
  • Father Ted's house: the house used for external shots of the parochial house in the comedy series Father Ted.
  • Lough Bunny, a turquoise, clear limestone lake.
  • Killnaboy
  • Kilfenora:
    • The Burren Centre; a charming locally run information centre
    • Ancient high crosses and a Ceilidh tradition
  • Corofin: former market town with a pretty fishing lake
  • Dysert O'Dea Castle
  • Caherconnell: the only excavated stone fort in the Burren

Burren Visitor Centre Controversy

Throughout the 1990s, a long running conflict about a proposed visitor centre caused "major divisions in the local communities" between those for and against developing a site near Mullaghmore as a visitor center to the Burren.

The plan for an interpretative visitors' centre at Mullaghmore was published in April 1991, intending to use EU Regional and Social funds allocated to tourism development, but the plan was met by a hastily formed Burren Action Group of concverned bodies and individuals, who made an alternative proposal, which was itself met by a counter-mobilisation by prominent representatives of local communities including such strange bedfellows as the Irish Farmers' Association, the Gaelic Athletic Association and politicians, whose coalition became known as Burren National Park Support Association. The next year the World Wide Fund for Nature and An Taisce lobbied agsint the plan to the European Commission, whose money was to be used.

Work started in early 1992; a car park was cleared at the site, sewage works commenced and foundations for the centre were put in. In November the Burren Action Group obtained an injunction against the project, which stopped all work in the 1993 until 1994, when the High Court seemed to have a change of mind or a different approach, but by March 1995 the state had abandoned plans to complete the centre and European funds were to be used for the demolition of those structures already constructed. A later, scaled-down visitor centre plan was opposed.

In 2012, yet another plan for a visitor centre was planned but not proceeded with.

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