The Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Patrick O’Donovan has announced €400k in funding for King John's Castle in Carlingford
The Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Patrick O’Donovan has announced €400k in funding from Fáilte Ireland’s Capital Grants Allocation for 2017 to the Office of Public Works (OPW) for the development of King John's Castle in Carlingford, a key project within Ireland’s Ancient East. Today’s investment seeks to boost the castle’s visitor experience and appeal to tourists.
In addition the project includes the provision of performance infrastructure which will allow for the castle to be used as a setting for cultural events – providing an ideal platform for arts events against the dramatic backdrop of Carlingford Lough and the Cooley Mountains.
Speaking today, Minister of State O’Donovan said -
“I am delighted to announce this grant today as a serious boost to the development of Ireland’s Ancient East in the north east. While the new brand, is gaining traction both domestically and internationally, it is crucial that the brand’s appeal is matched by visitor experiences on the ground – hence, investment such as this is vitally important.
Today’s funding is the latest part of a significant €1.2 million refurbishment project carried out by the OPW at King John's Castle in Carlingford. The project seeks to enhance the castle with better internal access, attractive landscaping and improved visitor facilities including information and interpretation. Today’s grant focuses on bringing the castle experience to life.
Welcoming the news, Seán Canney, Minister for the Office of Public Works and Flood Relief said –
"I am delighted that Fáilte Ireland has invested in King John's Castle in Carlingford. It is a wonderful project that will enable visitors to enter the interior of the Castle for the first time, thereby, increasing tourism potential in the beautiful medieval town of Carlingford. The funding under the Tourism Investment Programme will allow the story of the history of this 12th Century Castle to be brought to the visitor and will provide a platform for a range of events, creating an ideal location to begin your exploration of Ireland's Ancient East."
Stressing the importance of capital funding for the ongoing evolution of Ireland’s Ancient East, Fáilte Ireland’s Jenny de Saulles said -
“We have an abundance of great stories to tell in the north east but we must also ensure that we have the top class tourism infrastructure, facilities and interpretation to match them. Today’s grant will help ensure that.”
“Storytelling is vital in making the connection with visitors and while we have the assets, we still need to bring them to life. A signature theme within the Ireland’s Ancient East brand is ‘Castles and Conquests’ and this funding will allow us to develop the visitor experience in Carlingford to bring this historic castle to life and to animate the history that lies within its walls.”