The visitor centre at Dun Aengus on Inis Mór is set for a major upgrade after funding totalling €600,000 was confirmed this morning - a move one leading Galway TD said he hoped would boost tourism to the region.
The funding is made up of €450,000 by Failte Ireland and €150,000 by the Office of Public Works. It will go towards upgrading the visitor centre and allow the introduction of interpretative information at other key OPW-managed sites on Inis Mór, such as Dun Duchathair. The prehistoric stone is one of Ireland’s most recognised landmarks and is one of the OPW’s most visited sites with 132,233 visitors in 2016 - the highest of any OPW site in the west and north west.
The funding is part of an overall investment of more than €3 million by Failte Ireland, and €1.3 million by the OPW, in four key OPW heritage and tourism sites on the Wild Atlantic Way - Dun Aengus, the Blasket Island Visitor Centre in Kerry, the Ceide Fields in Mayo, and Carrowmore in Sligo.
Seán Kyne, the Minister for Community Development, Natural Resources and Digital Development, and Fine Gael TD for Galway West, said the funding would be "a major boost to the Aran Islands for which tourism is a key component of the local economy". He added: "With the significant challenge of Brexit ever present, investment in and conservation of our heritage sites is as important as ever so that we can enhance and maintain the visitor experience for tourists and local alike.”