Hailed as the second good news story for Athlone in the last four weeks by Minister of State for Sport and Tourism Michael Ring, Athlone’s revamped castle was officially opened on Tuesday, February 26.
The €4.3m state-of-the-art, interactive visitor centre has been applauded as a culmination of the dedication and expertise of everyone involved, with Minister Ring saying that “This is what working together does”.
However the Minister went on to remind those in attendance that it is now up to the citizens of Athlone to greet tourists to the area in a friendly and welcoming manner and warned local businesses that they must be offering value for money, as these tourists to the town would become “ambassadors for Ireland”. “We need to offer them value for money and a good welcome, we already have brilliant culture,” he said.
Fáilte Ireland’s Colm Breheny was equally positive about Athlone’s prospects as a leader in tourism in the Lakelands. “There are plenty of reasons for people to visit Athlone,” he said.
“There is a fantastic opportunity to capitalise on the Lakelands as a tourist attraction. The area was underperforming before, but now I feel it will get its fair share in the tourism pie,” he added.
An engaging, fun and unique family attraction, Athlone Castle includes eight individual galleries, each depicting a different aspect of life in Athlone down through the ages. Fun, hands-on experiences and educational narratives immerse visitors in the drama, tragedy and spectacle of Athlone’s diverse and fascinating story.
Athlone Castle is open Tuesday to Saturday from 11am-5pm and Sundays 12-5pm.
Call (090 ) 6442130 or visit www.athloneartandheritage.ie/athlone-castle for admission details and further information.