Four major heritage sites on Wild Atlantic Way to get €4.3m investment

Four major heritage sites on Wild Atlantic Way to get €4.3m investment
The Blasket Islands

Four visitor centres on the Wild Atlantic Way are to get €4.3m in total to upgrade their facilities.

Fáilte Ireland is providing up to 75% of the funding for the projects from its Capital Grants budget, with the rest being provided by the OPW.

It follows a previous investment of €11.5m from Fáilte Ireland for 10 other OPW projects in Dublin and within the 'Ireland’s Ancient East' region last year.

    The four heritage sites to benefit from this investment are:

  • Blasket Island Visitor Centre in Kerry - An investment of €2.25m will see the development of a new signature viewing point and a number of interpretive galleries at the centre;
  • Céide Fields in Mayo - An investment of €1.15m will bring a new exhibition and interpretation space to the visitor centre to showcase new archaeological material and knowledge about the site and the surrounding area;
  • Inis Mór in the Aran Islands, Galway - An investment of €600,000 will be used to upgrade the existing Visitor Interpretation Centre at Dún Aonghasa and the introduction of interpretative information at other key sites on the Island under the guardianship of the OPW, such as Dún Duchathair;
  • Carrowmore in Sligo- An investment of €350,000 will update the visitor exhibition with information about the monuments at Carrowmore, as well as the nearby ancient sites at Knocknarea and Carrowkeel. This will enable visitors to use the Carrowmore Centre as a hub to explore the archaeology of the area.

Minister of State for Tourism, Brendan Griffin, visited the Blasket Island Visitor Centre today and said: “We are very lucky in Ireland to have such breath-taking natural scenery and heritage, and the Blasket Islands, Céide Fields, Inis Mór and Carrowmore are some of the finest examples of this.

“It is incredibly important that we make the most of our cultural riches and boost the visitor experience wherever possible.”

Minister of State for the Office of Public Works, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran, added: "The OPW has a world-class portfolio of heritage sites which are enjoyed by millions of visitors every year.

"All of these sites have natural beauty and a unique story to tell, and this partnership will enable us to both invest in the future and preserve the past for future generations to enjoy.

Paul Kelly, CEO of Fáilte Ireland, said: “The tourism sector is an integral part of our economy, providing 235,000 jobs and generating an estimated €7.2bn in revenue. Last year Fáilte Ireland invested over €60m in 40 tourism capital projects.

"Our partnership with the OPW is reflective of Fáilte Ireland’s determination to work with all parties to grow tourism in a sustainable manner and is critical to unlocking the full potential of the West’s landscapes and heritage to drive tourism-based economic and employment growth”.

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