Lough Derg eagle viewing point attracts 10,000 visitors

The popular White Tailed Sea Eagle Viewing & Information Point at Mountshannon Pier has reopened to the public following a hugely successful pilot opening last summer.

The popular White Tailed Sea Eagle Viewing & Information Point at Mountshannon Pier has reopened to the public following a hugely successful pilot opening last summer.

More than 10,000 people flocked to the shores of Lough Derg between mid-July and September 2014 to catch a glimpse of the first successful breeding pair of white tailed sea eagles in Ireland in 110 years.The facility is operated by Mountshannon Eagle Group in conjunction with the Golden Eagle Trust and Mountshannon Community Council. It features telescopes and information and displays about the eagles, regarded as Ireland’s largest and most spectacular breeding birds.

Clare County Council, which funds the facility, said the facility generated more than E500,000 for the local economy in 2014. A visitor survey found that 43 per cent of people said the attraction was the primary factor influencing their decision to visit Mountshannon.

The eagles, a seven-year-old male and six-year-old female, were originally collected as chicks in Norway by the Golden Eagle Trust and released in Killarney National Park before relocating to Lough Derg in 2011. The pair, named Saoirse and Caimin, created history in 2013 when they reared the first chicks to fly from a nest in Ireland in 110 years. The pair successfully hatched another chick in 2014, and the local community is hoping for another successful hatching this summer.

Visit www.mountshannoneagles.ie for more on the viewing and information point.