One of Ireland’s most famous tourist attractions, the Cliffs of Moher in Country Clare, are on a shortlist of 28 finalists to be considered for the new seven wonders of the world.

The 700 foot sea cliffs are in competition with the likes of the Amazon rainforest, the Dead Sea, the Grand Canyon, the Matterhorn, the Maldives, Uluru (Ayers Rock) and the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and Table Mountain in South Africa.

The seven locations will be chosen by votes from the public all over the world over the next two years and the winners will be announced in 2011.

The 28 finalists were revealed Tuesday at the New7Wonders headquarters in Switzerland.   Bernard Weber, founder and president of New7Wonders, said, “This is an extraordinary achievement and the eyes of the planet will be upon the Cliffs of Moher and Ireland for the next two years.”

Katherine Webster, director of the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience, said, “So many people all over the world have the Cliffs as a special place in their heart. Even if they have not been here many people know of it and want to come here.

“We believe the Cliffs of Moher is a special place which truly merits Natural Wonder status and are thrilled that it has been recognized as a serious contender.

 “We are also grateful for the nationwide support the Cliffs have received throughout this campaign. The entire country will reap the benefits if we win.”

The Cliffs are Ireland’s most popular visitor site, with almost one million visitors a year. They featured in the recently-released film Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

Webster said they had worked very hard on promoting the Cliffs worldwide and thanked the thousands of visitors who had emailed and voted.

The competition began with over 400 nominees that were narrowed down in stages by both public vote and the votes of an expert panel.