People in the Sliabh Liag area are concerned at the prospect of mining companies operating in this part of Donegal.

Rugged and windswept Sliabh Liag on County Donegal's south western coast is home to spectacular sea cliffs, the highest in Ireland.

This unspoiled landscape may be under threat. Last year the Geological Survey of Ireland published a map which opened the area for mining companies to apply for prospecting licences.

Slieve League Slán a local action group is concerned about what might happen if mining companies move in.

The fact that An Foras Forbatha designated this specific part of Donegal as a special amenity area for tourism in 1973 means it should never have been put on the mining map in the first place, explains chairperson Kathleen McCauley.

Donegal County Council along with Slieve League Slán have objected to licence applications from prospecting companies, and despite contacting all relevant government departments, no updates have been received.

Preserving water quality in the region is one of the group's chief aims, as the lead prospecting and mining process is a known polluter of water sources in other countries. Conserving the natural landscape is another as,

We can't see how any mining could be done without destroying the physical beauty of the area.

A popular tourist destination, Slieve League attracts hill walkers, but is also a renowned location for flora and fauna.

Any prospecting here would be detrimental to the environment maintains Ronnie Carlton, as mining disasters in the United States and Japan are testament to what can go wrong,

This is the last wilderness in the whole of Ireland...if we lose this we lose it all.

The lack of communication on the issue between officialdom and various government bodies such as Bord Fáilte has mystified people in Donegal, says Kathleen McCauley. It sends a message that those in power have little consideration for the people who may be most affected by their decisions

They just stick pins in maps behind desks up there, regardless of what the consequences might be for us.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 27 May 1981. The reporter is Conor Fennell.