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ARCHIVE: Hundreds march to Hellfire Club in protest over proposals for a €19m visitors centre

HUNDREDS of protesters marched to Dublin's Hellfire Club to protest against the proposed €19m tourist development of the site.

Plans put forward by Dublin County Council include a visitor centre, restaurant, cafe and large car park.

The council hopes the development will attract up to 300,000 visitors a year.

However, more than 250 protesters turned out as part of the "Save the Hellfire" campaign.

"There is a huge groundswell of people who are against this development," said organiser Elizabeth Davidson.

"They don't want this beautiful environment spoiled in favour of commercial development.

"People come up here to relax, clear their head, walk the dog and bring their family out for a lovely free day and they don't want to see it commercialised."

Protesters fear the environment will not be able to sustain the visitor numbers envisaged by the council.

"This delicate environment will not tolerate 300,000 people visiting it," said Ms Davidson.

"However, it will tolerate the people who visit it at the moment, who come in their hundreds at the weekend, the people of Dublin.

"Why should we be penalised? Come and walk, absolutely, but don't turn it into a commercial centre."

Among the speakers at the event was TD Richard Boyd Barrett and Green Party leader Eamon Ryan.

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