The success of The Rock of Cashel is subsidising other OPW sites according to one local councillor.
For the first time in years the entrance fee to The Rock of Cashel is to increase next year - but Cashel councillor Tom Wood says unless the extra income is used to keep the Bolton Library in the town then there should be no increase. Income at the Rock was in the region of €1 million last year, he told the recent meeting of Cashel Tipperary Municipal District Council, but after paying the wages and expenses of running the national heritage site, half of that was “sent back to central coffers.” “We are collecting money in Cashel to maintain other sites,” Cllr Wood said. “I’m afraid they are now using Cashel and The Rock as a means of making money to spend in other places.”
Last year The Rock attracted 250,000 visitors, the fourth most popular tourist destination in Ireland. The top three are in Dublin and do not charge an entrance fee.
Cllr Wood asked his fellow councillors to contact Minister Simon Harris for “new thinking.”
Cllr Wood said that if the OPW does increase the entrance charge they “seriously look at taking in charge the Bolton Library - it’s the last chance we have.” He said the extra money could be invested in guides and linking the Library with the Rock and the Cashel Palace.
Cllr Wood added that he doesn’t see why the admission charge is being increased while “The Rock is half covered in scaffolding - people have less and less places to see.”