By Andrew Carey
AT A cost of €6m, the newly redeveloped visitor experience at King John’s Castle was officially opened this Friday by Minister for Finance Michael Noonnan as record visitor numbers experience the region’s top attraction.
With a host of new interactive and historic facilities at the castle, the visitor centre has attracted over 40,000 visitors since the middle of the summer.
Speaking at the opening, Minister Noonan said that the new centre was a fantastic magnet for Limerick to attract international visitors.
Described as Limerick’s “Jewel in the Crown”, Minister for Finance Michael Noonan, said that the newly redeveloped King John’s Castle is “an iconic visitor attraction to rival any around the world.
In front of a large crowd, Minister Noonan said it was a “magnet for Limerick”
“It is the jewel in Limerick’s portfolio of visitor attractions and a fitting testament to the versatility and resilience of the people of Limerick, and captures their story in a new and imaginative way.
Limerick is experiencing a renaissance, according to Minister Noonan who performed the official opening later this Friday afternoon, and with the city’s future “clearly mapped in the Limerick 2030 Vision Plan”, Minister Noonan added that it is an “exciting programme launched for Limerick’s reign as Ireland’s first City of Culture.”
In the first four months since reopening its doors on June 28 this year, the revamped visitor attraction has welcomed over 40,000 visitors from Ireland and overseas. When compared to the same period in previous years this represents a doubling of visitor numbers.
Over 100 construction jobs were created during the redevelopment of the Castle and 27 jobs thereafter at the visitor attraction and John Ruddle, Chief Executive, Shannon Heritage, said: “We are delighted with visitor numbers to-date at King John’s Castle which have exceeded our expectations. We have had more visitors in the first four months since reopening than we would normally have in a full year.”