Another €15m for Battle of the Boyne centre

THE Government yesterday announced another €15 million in funding for a new visitor centre at the Battle of the Boyne site.

A visitor and exhibition centre, new walkways and a peace garden will be built over the next three years, bringing total spending on the project to date to €30m.

The Battle of the Boyne site, where the Protestant King William of Orange defeated the forces of the Catholic King James II of England in 1690 is commemorated each year by Orange Order marches on July 12.

The site on the banks of the River Boyne near Drogheda was developed under the auspices of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

Foreign Affairs Minister and local TD Dermot Ahern said the Government recognised the historical importance of the Battle of the Boyne for many in the unionist community. “In the Good Friday Agreement, the Government committed itself to actively promoting and developing respect, reconciliation and mutual understanding between the different traditions on the island of Ireland,” he said. “The preservation and appropriate development of this historic battle site is a powerful and tangible expression of that commitment.”

Mr Ahern said it was vital that the battle’s political legacy was fully understood by all traditions on the island.

The Battle of the Boyne site, which was bought by the Government in 1999, has been open to the public each summer since 2002.

More than 20,000 visitors attended the site last year.

Mr Ahern yesterday also hosted a workshop of experts from world battle sites like Gettysburg in the US, Culloden in Scotland, Waterloo and Flanders in Belgium and Hastings and Bosworth in Britain.

More in this section