Fine Gael Kerry Senator and Seanad Chief Whip, Paul Coghlan, has today (Tuesday) welcomed confirmation from the Minister of State at the Office of Public Works, Brian Hayes TD, that Derrynane House, the ancestral home of Daniel O’Connell, will remain open throughout the busy summer tourist season. Senator Coghlan raised the issue during the Order of Business in the Seanad, amid concerns that restoration works due to be carried out at the House could interrupt the tourist season.
“I would like to compliment the decision by Minister Hayes that the spectacular ancestral home of the Liberator, Daniel O’Connell, will remain open throughout the busy tourist season, which traditionally runs from Easter to September.
“The major restoration works due to be carried out at Derrynane House are long overdue and very important. The Government has approved €1.2 million in funding for the project, which will transform the building. The works are planned to help visitors visualise what the house was like when Daniel O’Connell was alive, and will bring a crucial part of our history to life.
“It is fair to say that Derrynane House and Gardens is one of the great tourism gems in this country. I would go as far as to say that it is on a par with Muckross House and Gardens in Killarney National Park. It’s great news that the attraction will remain open throughout the summer. Furthermore, this means that an event planned for the House in September as part of The Gathering will not be disrupted.
“I hope Derrynane enjoys a busy summer season ahead, and I wish all of those involved in the restoration works well when they commence later in the year.”
The Irish Times reported that Hotelier Mary O’Connell, who heads tourism bodies in the area, welcomed the news but she has questioned how the house could have been earmarked for closure during the Gathering year in the first place.
“It just goes to show how out of touch the different groups are in Government with what goes on on the ground, especially in rural Ireland,” she said.