24 June 2019, Monday
By Elaine Murphy
A former stately home has opened to the public. Doneraile Court is expected to further boost Doneraile Wildlife Park’s position as one of Ireland’s best performing attractions.
The Council’s ‘Re-Imagine Doneraile’ festivities, took place on the street and in Fishpond Lane from 1pm to 5pm last Saturday, will feature family friendly attractions and fun entertainment. With street performers in historic character and carriage rides from Lord’s Gate, a vintage merry-go-round, a pop-up market, street food, face painting, music and balloons in Fishpond lane there is something to keep the whole family happy.
Doneraile Court, the former residence of Sir William St Leger, Lord Deputy of Munster in 1629, is steeped in history. The estate remained in the St Leger family until 1969 and the remarkable 400 acre walled parklands, a design inspired by the famous architect Capability Brown, have survived to this day, thanks to careful restoration from the Georgian society and more recently the office of Public Works and represent over four centuries of horticultural history. With nearly half a million visitors annually the Park surpasses The National Museum of Ireland, Fota Wildlife and Blarney Castle in popularity.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Christopher O’Sullivan, commenting on the opening said “The newly refurbished Doneraile Court will have a positive economic impact for Doneraile and the entire North Cork region. Cork County Council is consistently working towards maximising the potential of the tourist offering across the county and manages a range of highly successful visitor attractions. Investing in the development of Doneraile Court along with other sites like Mallow Castle will mean a significant return for the region in the long run.”
Visitors enjoyed the ornamental gardens and avenues of mature gardens, spot Sika, Fallow and Killarney Red deer roaming freely in the park.