Charles Fort, Doneraile Court House, Garnish Island, Fota Arboretum – Reopen today after #COVID lockdown eases

26 April 2021
By Mary Bermingham
mary@TheCork.ie

The Office of Public Works (OPW) is pleased to announce that a total of 97 OPW parks and heritage sites with outdoor spaces will be open to the public within the existing travel restrictions either from today, 26 April, or later this week. Like the over 30 OPW gardens and parklands that had remained open and accessible to locals throughout lockdown this year, the additional sites opening their grounds will continue to provide important amenities for citizens’ health and wellbeing.

File photo from June 2019 to show Doneraile Court. The stately home and grounds in North County Cork.
Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran TD, Minister of State for the Office of Public Works and Flood Relief, cut the ribbon in the presence of Cllr Christopher O’Sullivan, Mayor of the County of Cork and David Stanton TD, Minister of State for Equality, Immigration and Integration, right, along with dignitaries, OPW officials and local councillors, at the opening of Doneraile Court in Doneraile, Co Cork.
Picture: David Keane.

Sites that are reopening from today include the outdoor spaces of Kells Priory, Trim Castle and Nenagh Castle as well as Loughcrew Cairns. Later in the week, the gardens at Doneraile Court (29 April) and Garnish Island (30 April) will reopen.

Minister Patrick O’Donovan TD, Minister of State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works, said:

“I am delighted that the steady progress we have made over the past months has allowed the easing of restrictions on outdoor visitor attractions from today. As a result, many additional outdoor OPW heritage sites and parks will be open for people to explore and enjoy locally. They provide much-needed recreational amenities.”

Minister O’Donovan added:

“I would like to ask members of the public to be mindful of existing Covid-19 guidelines during visits and to help us maintain the beauty of our parks and scenic locations by heeding the message of our “Love This Place, Leave No Trace” campaign. While the OPW’s staff are working hard to maintain the parks, gardens and heritage grounds in our care to a high standard so that they can be enjoyed by all visitors, we need your cooperation to keep these places litter-free.”

The OPW has been part of the joint initiative Love This Place, Leave No Trace since its launch by the Government of Ireland in partnership with Leave No Trace Ireland last summer. The campaign aims to promote responsible outdoor recreation practices that will ensure a healthier and sustainable future for all and calls on everyone to take care of the outdoors. There has been a notable increase in littering throughout the country over the past weekend, and areas affected include OPW heritage sites.

Where it has been safe to do so, toilet facilities have also reopened at OPW heritage sites, but their availability is dependent on local arrangements at each site and subject to ongoing review.

Table

HERITAGE SITE NAME AREAS/SERVICES AVAILABLE ON SITE
Altamont House & Gardens Gardens/Parklands Open
  Café Take-away only
Arbour Hill, Dublin Open as normal
Ardfert Cathedral Open outside spaces only using reception
Askeaton Castle Access to outside spaces only
Athenry Castle Access to outside spaces only
  Castle Closed
Aughnanure Castle Access to outside spaces only
  Castle closed
Battle of the Boyne Gardens/Parklands Open
  House/Visitor Centre Closed
  Café Take away service
Blasket Islands & Visitor Centre Visitor Centre Closed for refurbishments
  Viewing Point Open
National Botanic Gardens Glasnevin Visitor Centre Closed
  Gardens/Parklands Open with tours available as per Level 3 outdoor gatherings
  Café Take-away only
Casino Marino Building Closed for refurbishments
  Grounds open to public
Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery Access to outside spaces only
  Visitor Centre closed
Castletown Parklands Open
  Car park
  Café Take-away only
  Museum/House/Property Tour Closed
  Galleries Closed
  Visitor Centre Closed
Charles Fort Access to outside spaces only from April 29th
  Visitor Centre and other internal Exhibition spaces closed
Corlea Trackway Access to outside spaces only from April 29th
  Visitor Centre Closed
Derrynane House & Garden House Closed
  Gardens Open
Desmond Castle Newcastlewest Access to outside spaces only from April 29th
Doneraile Court House Closed
  Gardens open Thurs – Sunday from 29th
  Parklands Open
  Café Take-away/outdoor service only
  Public Toilets COVID protocols apply
Dublin Castle State Apartments Closed
  Garden
  Café Closed
Dún Aonghasa Access to outside spaces only
  Visitor Centre Closed
Emo Court House Closed
  Gardens/Parklands Open
  Café Takeaway only
Farmleigh House & Estate House & Galleries Closed
  Gardens/Parklands Open
  Café Take-away only
Fota Arboretum Gardens Open as normal
Garden of Remembrance, Dublin Open as normal
Garnish Island Island open from April 30th
  Gardens Open Weds to Sun
  Bryce House Closed
  Café Closed
Glebe Gallery House & Gallery Closed
  Gardens/Parklands open
Glendalough Access to outside spaces only
Grangegorman Military Cemetery, Dublin Open as normal
Heywood Gardens Open as normal
Hill of Tara Access to outside spaces only
Iveagh Gardens Open as normal
Jerpoint Abbey Access to outside spaces only
J.F.K Arboretum Indoor exhibitions Closed
  Outdoor Tours As per Level 3 guidelines for outdoor gatherings
  Café Closed
  Playground COVID protocols apply
Kells Priory Access to outside spaces only
Kilkenny Castle & Demesne Castle Closed
  Gardens/Parklands Open
  Tearoom Outdoor Service only
  Playground COVID protocols apply
Kilmacurragh Gardens
  Tours Outdoor tours in line with Level 3 guidance for outdoor gatherings.
  Café Takeaway only
Loughcrew Access to outside spaces only
Nenagh Castle Access to outside spaces only
  Castle closed
Old Mellifont Abbey Access to outside spaces only
Parke’s Castle Access to outside spaces only
Phoenix Park Visitor Centre Closed
  Park Open
  Café Takeaway only
  Walled Garden Open
Portumna Castle Access to outside spaces only
  Castle closed
Rathfarnham Castle Castle closed
  Café Take-away only
Roscrea Heritage Access to outside spaces only
Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin Gardens/Parklands open
St.Enda’s Park & Pearse Museum Museum & Nature Room Closed
  Gardens/Parklands Open
  Café Take-away only
St Stephen’s Green Open as normal
Trim Castle Access to outside spaces only
War Memorial Gardens Open as normal

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