The Office of Public Works (OPW) has announced free entry into a number of Irish heritage sites for the remainder of this year.
Effective as of yesterday, entry into some of the country's top heritage sites has been made free for all. Part of the Government's July Stimulus plan, the measure took effect as of yesterday.
Minister of State, Patrick O'Donovan, announced the initiative, confirming that admission charges to certain OPW heritage sites have been waived in an effort to encourage domestic tourism. Due to remain in force until the end of the year, Minister O'Donovan is quoted as saying:
"The economy has suffered a huge shock because of COVID-19, and this is particularly the case in the Tourism sector where so many people depend on a strong visitor economy to provide them with jobs.
Government have identified the need to act quickly and decisively in support of the tourism sector and the OPW sites will play a part in that by making it attractive cost-wise for individuals and families to visit and for Tour Operators who wish to bring organised groups."
Responsible for 70 visitor sites around the country, this number includes some of the country's most iconic historic locations - the likes of the Rock of Cashel, Dún Aonghasa and Castletown House. A small number of the busiest sites will maintain admission charge in an effort to curb numbers.
"Ten locations in all will maintain an admission charge, and at three of these locations we are actually admitting people at half price. These are very popular and busy sites in the normal course and we feel that declaring them free admission will create a possibility that many more people will come to them than they can safely handle," said John McMahon, the OPW'S heritage commissioner.
You can find a full list of OPW sites and their prices here.
Header image via Shutterstock/Dún Aonghasa