Future is bright for Connemara National Park as year-round opening is announced
The Government Chief Whip and Minister of State for the Irish language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands, Seán Kyne TD, welcomes the announcement that Connemara National Park Visitor Centre is to remain open all year round, for the first time ever.
Connemara National Park – managed and maintained by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht – has seen an increase in visitor numbers this year of nearly 5% from last year. The opening of the Diamond Hill walks and the interest in the Wild Atlantic Way has prompted a steady increase in visitor numbers in recent years and there has been increasing demand for year-round opening.
The Park is set for major development in the coming years. This is largely due to significant funding of €1.9m from Fáilte Ireland – which was announced in December 2018 – and the signing this year of an international twinning agreement with Terra Nova National Park in Newfoundland, Canada. A new car park and additional looped walks on the Mweelin/Kylemore side of Park are among the new developments being planned for the Park.
Today, Minister Kyne raises the Green Flag – for the second successive year – at Connemara National Park. The Green Flag for Parks Scheme Award is the mark of a quality park or green space and is recognised throughout the world with 17 countries now participating in the scheme. The Minister paid tribute to the NPWS staff in the Park on their continuing to achieve internationally recognised Awards for sustainability and best practice.
Minister Kyne added that “the year round opening and the new investment at Letterfrack is a great step forward for Connemara National Park and the surrounding communities. It has long been one of the major tourist attractions in the west of Ireland, attracting in excess of 250,000 visitors per annum, and I am delighted that it is set to develop. Visitors will be able to get the full experience at this beautiful and iconic site throughout the entire year and this will create even more opportunities for visitors to explore and spend longer in Connemara, enjoying the various attractions, activities and hospitality that this unique part of Ireland has to offer”.