The Office of Public Works (OPW) announced another very successful year with a total of 6.6 million visitors to OPW managed heritage sites in 2016 up significantly on the record achieved for 2015.
The leading visitor sites continue to do remarkably well with the Rock of Cashel up by 38,081 bringing its numbers to 338,830 visitors in 2016. Dublin Castle also continued on its upwards trend with 253,786 visitors and Trim Castle welcomed 101,127 visitors in 2016 up 14,155 from 86,972 visitors in 2015.
As expected, with the completion of the new visitor facility in the old Kilmainham Courthouse, Kilmainham Gaol proved to be especially popular with visitor numbers of 390,970, an increase of 64,335 on 2015.
Visitor numbers take into account not just the ticketed visitors but also include admissions to various events and, in some cases, those people availing of the grounds/parklands of a site. In 2016, Castletown House and Parklands reported 547,324 visitors and the National Botanic Gardens had over 583,539 visitors through its gates. Kilkenny Castle also welcomed record-breaking numbers in 2016 with 384,918 visitors to the Castle and its grounds.
Speaking at the publication of the 2016 visitor numbers, Minister Moran said, “I am very proud of the contribution made by the OPW managed heritage sites to our economy and society. These sites are not only iconic attractions which entice international visitors but also contribute significantly to the quality of life of our own citizens. I compliment the staff of the OPW who work tirelessly to ensure that all visitors to our sites are welcomed with warmth and professionalism. The figures released today follow the trend of increasing visitor numbers in recent years, demonstrating the positive impact of initiatives such as the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland’s Ancient East. I am confident that this trend of increasing visitor numbers will continue.”