Culture News

‘Step into Our Story’ as the OPW Opens a Number of Heritage Sites for Summer Season

Locals and visitors alike are invited to “step into our story” at national landmarks that the Office of Public Works (OPW) holds in trust for the Nation and that are open across the summer season.

Will you step inside one of our enchanting castles, like Desmond Castle Newcastle West, Co. Limerick, Portumna Castle, Co. Galway or Ormond Castle, Co. Tipperary?

Or how about one of Ireland’s historic religious sites like Boyle Abbey, Co. Roscommon, Tintern Abbey, Co. Wexford or Ennis Friary, Co. Clare?

Or perhaps one of the charming houses and estates, like Farmleigh House, Co. Dublin, Castletown House, Co. Kildare or Derrynane House, Co. Kerry?

Wherever you choose to visit, the OPW’s sites have a number of events ongoing over the Easter weekend and throughout the summer season. Casino Marino, Co. Dublin will kick off its 2023 events on Poetry Day Ireland, 27th April. At Jerpoint Abbey, Co. Kilkenny, children of all ages can enjoy a treasure hunt, searching the abbey to discover saints, knights and mythological creatures.

Visitors will be able to experience more than 6,000 years of history at one of our many ancient and enchanting sites across Ireland.

On the first Wednesday of every month, visitors and families can enjoy free admission to a number of OPW heritage sites, including the Céide Fields Visitor Centre, Co. Mayo, Athenry Castle, Co. Galway and Casino Marino, Co. Dublin. Visit FreeWednesday to see the list of participating sites.

The OPW Heritage Card also offers visitors unlimited access to the over 45 historic sites and visitor attractions for a year, providing great savings and value for money to anyone wanting to learn about Ireland’s cultural heritage.

Welcoming the reopening of the OPW Heritage sites for the summer season, Minister for the OPW Patrick O’Donovan T.D. stated, “I am delighted to see so many of Ireland’s tourism attractions open to the public for the Easter weekend and for the summer season, offering a renewed opportunity to explore the treasures which the OPW holds in trust for the Nation. The heritage landmarks that were recently reopened, as well as those open all year, significantly contribute to the local sense of place, the local economy and are great places for all the family to enjoy. The OPW works hard to safeguard our national landmarks and the preservation of these heritage sites shows the clear investment by the State in our heritage portfolio.”

Chairman of the OPW Maurice Buckley stated, “the OPW and our dedicated staff are immensely proud of the many and varied roles we play in facilitating the State to meet the needs of our people. As part of our heritage brief, we strive to ensure the precious places in our care are conserved and presented in a way that brings pride to all Irish people as they both enjoy and share these unique places with people from across the world. I would encourage everyone over the coming months to join us and step into our story at an OPW site.”

Rosemary Collier, OPW Head of Heritage and Capital Works Delivery, commented on the great experiences that visitors enjoy at OPW heritage sites, “our OPW heritage sites offer visitors an unparalleled range of experiences. From our medieval castles to our Georgian houses, from our religious abbeys to our ancient monuments, visitors can step into our story. In 2022, 15 million visitors stepped through the doors of OPW heritage sites, a 15% increase in visitor numbers from 2021. We encourage you to join us this year and we look forward to welcoming you.”

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