9 September 2015
By Bryan T. Smyth
Paschal Donohoe TD, Minister for Tourism, Transport and Sport, and Michael Ring TD, Minister of State for Tourism, have announced funding of €160,000 for Blackrock Castle. It’s part of a wider €1.2m package, referred to as the “first phase of investment through Fáilte Ireland’s ‘New Ideas in Ancient Spaces’ Capital Grants Scheme”. The other project in Cork to receive funds will be Titanic Connections in Cobh.
Ciaran Lynch comments
Speaking to TheCork.ie Labour TD Ciaran Lynch said: “Blackrock Castle is the oldest surviving structure still in use in Cork City; a 16th century fort best known these days as CIT’s Blackrock Castle Observatory, the award-winning science and visitor centre.
“The funding of €160,000 it is receiving is for a new, high-quality interpretive experience, Journeys of Exploration, telling the story of the Anglo Irish and Cork’s maritime heritage through new multi-lingual interpretation and exhibits at the rooftop, gunnery, courtyard and castle slipway.
“That will add to the visitor experience at Blackrock Castle, especially for tourists from overseas who will learn about our history in an enjoyable way.”
Jerry Buttimer comments
Meanwhile, Fine Gael TD Jerry Buttimer said: “Blackrock Castle is an important and impressive tourist experience in Cork and this funding will only enhance what is already an excellent experience. As Cork City’s oldest surviving structure that is still in use, the castle can tell a unique story about our history. The allocation of €160,000 will help to develop a new high-quality interpretative experience, ‘Journeys of Exploration’, which will tell the story of Cork’s maritime heritage. This will be another improved offering that will help to attract tourists to Cork.
“Tourism is vital to our local economy. Each year more than 1.2 million overseas visitors come to Cork, generating over €400 million for our local economy. It is vital for jobs that we continue to build on the excellent attractions that we have. Cork is uniquely placed on both the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland’s Ancient East. We must take advantage of these opportunities and build an experience and brand that promotes Cork as a destination to visit.
“I strongly believe that Cork must be marketed as a single destination and as ‘the gateway to all Munster’ when it comes to attracting tourists. It should be marketed as a single region. Our new national tourism policy provides the basis for a fresh approach when it comes to marketing Cork. However if this is going to be delivered then it needs to be led by Cork City Council, Cork County Council and Fáilte Ireland, working with other stakeholders. Plans are underway but we need action.”