One of Mayo's most popular tourist destinations, the Céide Fields visitor centre, has reopened - a move that has been welcomed by local TDs.
Fianna Fáil TD Dara Calleary said: "€2.6million has been invested in upgrading and updating the visitor centre at Céide in a collaboration between Fáilte Ireland, the Office of Public Works and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.
"It is anticipated that the visitor centre will attract over 7,500 additional visitors over five years and generate €935,000 for the local Mayo economy with 152 jobs in the region to be supported as a result of this investment which will position the Céide Fields and north Mayo as a must-visit destination along the Wild Atlantic Way route.
"The new visitor experience, enriching the original centre which opened in 1993, will enable visitors from home and abroad to immerse themselves in the fascinating heritage of the Céide Fields and encourage more people to visit north Mayo, generating significant economic impact for the area.
“I want to compliment Failte Ireland, the OPW and the Department for their support of this very important development for north Mayo; we are extremely proud of the Céide Fields and this investment will allow us to further showcase its uniqueness to the entire world.
"The investment here complements additional developments being undertaken in the Ballycastle and Céide Coast area by Fáilte Ireland and by local development groups such as Céide Coast Community and I am encouraging anyone who is considering a staycation this summer to add the North Coast of Mayo from Ballina to Killala to Ballycastle and Belmullet to their itinerary – you will not be disappointed."
Fine Gael deputy Alan Dillon added: "The Céide Fields are a unique and extensive Neolithic archaeological site, celebrated for the complex and extensive remains of ancient field systems and habitations.
"The enhanced experience at the centre includes improved interpretation that tells the archaeological story of the site and its discovery. A new state-of-the-art audio-visual exhibition will draw domestic and international tourists to the site, encouraging them to learn more about the rich heritage of the region, and to explore north Mayo and its surrounds."