The Cliffs of Insanity

A friend of mine told me that as children they used to play a game where they would stand bared feet on the edge of this 200m precipice and see who had the courage to step out the farthest with only their toes on solid rock. Fortunately for them none of them came to grief but that’s not the case for all who have played this insane game of dare.

Aillte an Mhothair (The Cliffs of Moher) is a prominent coastal feature on the south west coast of Ireland between Lahinch and Dingle and has become one of Ireland most important natural attractions. Once this was a wild place where a gravel road and a rough dirt car park were all the amenities needed. Now there is a visitor’s centre, large pay-for car parks for both cars and coaches and a seemingly never ending ant-like trail of people coming and going between car park and clifftop.

In 1987 the story of ‘The Princess Bride’ used the Cliffs of Moher as the site of its ‘Cliffs of Insanity’ and made more poignant just how crazy my friend’s childhood adventures on the very same cliffs were.

Photo: Robert Rath, ‘The Cliffs of Insanity’, 1/32s f9 ISO320 70mm x4 Panorama

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