Kevin “Boxer” Moran T.D., Minister of State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works (OPW) and Flood Relief has today welcomed the commencement of free admission to all OPW managed heritage site where an admission charge applies for persons with disabilities and their carers.
In Limerick, sites such as Lough Gur, Desmond Hall and Adare Castle will now be free of chrage for those with disabilities and their carers.
Minister Moran said, “The OPW is entrusted with looking after wonderful heritage sites and I feel passionately that everyone should be able to enjoy these cultural assets on our doorstep. This includes those with disabilities and I am delighted that the OPW will, at all its paid admission sites, admit persons with disabilities and their carers for free commencing from today – the 1st of May”.
The is the European Year of Cultural Heritage and Minister Moran indicated that he sees this free admission initiative as a direct contribution to the celebration of Heritage. “The theme of the European Year of Cultural Heritage is ‘Make a Connection’. This theme aims to deepen the connection between people and heritage and build a legacy of increased public engagement over time. I am delighted to announce the commencement of this initiative today so that we can make that connection with those of our visitors who suffer with a disability”.
The Minister also confirmed today that the OPW will be continuing with its progressive approach to the provision of sign language tours for deaf and hard of hearing visitors this year with tours organised in a number of locations around the country right throughout the summer. “We are very conscious of the recent move to make Irish Sign Language (ISL) an official language and we aim to continue to improve our services in this area. We have provided tours in ISL since 2016 and we have recently announced the dates and venues for our 2018 ISL calendar. This is part of a developing programme and we will, in consultation with the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community, continue to work to better improve our delivery of excellent services through ISL into the future”.
Minister Moran continued, “I have continued to champion accessibility to OPW heritage sites since I took office and today’s announcement builds on the extremely successful Under 12’s Go Free” initiative I introduced last summer.
“In its first season of operation, a total of 90,325 children under 12 availed of the scheme which demonstrates just what a great appetite children and their families have for history and heritage. I am delighted that the OPW will continue with this initiative at all their fee-paying sites in 2018 and beyond”.
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