A very easy site to access – next to the road with a large free car park and 3 very good information boards.
A path takes you from the car park to the site although the Tomb itself is roped off.
Just to make sure you were not tempted to go under the rope for a closer look a council 'official' was sitting in his van to keep an eye on things! (I doubt he is there 24/7!)
The Tomb is on an unusual setting of rocky outcrops which looked pretty with plenty of primroses growing out of the cracks.
This is a busy site with several coaches of tourists coming and going while I was there (and I wasn't there that long!). I don't have a problem with this as I figure the more people who visit historic / prehistoric sites the better chance they will be respected and cared for in the future. Such popular sites as this must raise the public appreciation of their importance?
The Tomb is certainly well worth stopping off for a visit when in the area.
There is now a turnstile-type gate and three information boards at Poulnabrone. The pathway from the road to the tomb looks and feels unfinished. How many of the million-a-year visitors that the Cliffs of Moher get stop off here? There were 2 tour buses here the day we arrived, late January, when most of the Burren facilities were closed down. We waited for them to leave and had the monument to ourselves.
Poulnabrone may be another victim of the 'pop megalithic' syndrome wherby its immense popularity, ease of access, enormity of photographs and visitors means that it is so often belittled and dismissed. Probably the same phenomenon that causes an underground band to become instantly unpopular as soon as they get mainstream attention. Poulnabrone is a masterpiece of its kind, the design and engineering are superlative and if it were not for the rope surrounding it would be perfect. If this was discovered today or even if it were located miles from the nearest track it would get the proper respect and admiration it deserves. Get here very early or very late to avoid the embarrasingly uninformed tour guides and uninterested tour guests.
As you can see in some of the photos above there is now a rope around the small cairn with a little sign ironically asking people to respect the moument. There was some small scale building work going on near the gate to the tomb at the roadside last time I was here and I had the horrible feeling they were building a turnstile or something to 'manage' visitors. Turns out its going to be a small wall probably with a plaque and some info on it. Or maybe a stall for selling "Mum went to Poulnabrone and all I got was this lousy T-Shirt made by a six year old in the Far East" type stuff.
While I was here I met some genuine bone fide idiots: two were dancing around it on one leg in their bermuda shorts making 'pow wow wow wow' noises and another was asserting to the older folk that sacrificed animals were placed on top to please the sun god. Marvelous.