LOCAL people and visitors are invited to step back in history as a prime County Limerick national heritage site operated by the Office of Public Works reopens for the tourist season.
Desmond Castle in Newcastle West incorporates one of Ireland’s most impressive and best preserved banqueting halls which has undergone a major facelift.
Also on the tourist trail is Lough Gur, the home of Ireland’s oldest and largest stone circle and an abundance of ancient monuments which has just been transferred to the ownership of Limerick City and County Council.
Local TD and Minister of State for the Office of Public Works Patrick O’Donovan said he was delighted that Desmond Castle was re-opening so early in the year and for it to remain open longer into the season than usual.
“It is among the OPW’s most impressive medieval heritage sites, a lot of upgrade work has been completed over the last number of months and there are many exciting plans for the site into the future.
“I am delighted to see so many of Ireland’s tourism attractions re-open for the summer season, just in time for Easter weekend, offering a renewed opportunity to explore the treasures which the OPW holds in trust for the Nation.
“The heritage landmarks re-opening, as well as those open all year, significantly contribute to the local sense of place, the local economy and are great places for all the family to enjoy.
“The OPW is working hard to safeguard our national landmarks and the preservation of these heritage sites shows the clear investment by the State in our heritage portfolio,” Minister O’Donovan added.
The OPW Heritage Card gives unlimited access to more than 45 historic sites and visitor attractions for a year, offering great value to anyone wanting to learn about Ireland’s cultural heritage.
Almost 13 million visitors stepped through the doors of OPW sites in 2021, with the agency investing significantly in the protection and preservation of Ireland’s built heritage.