Minister Madigan welcomes TRH the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall to Killarney National Park
Minister Josepha Madigan T.D., will today welcome Their Royal Highnesses the Prince of Wales, and his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, to Killarney National Park , County Kerry. The visit forms part of a two day visit by Their Royal Highnesses to Ireland. Their Royal Highnesses will visit Muckross and Killarney Houses while in the National Park.
Speaking ahead of the visit, Minister Madigan said:
“It gives me great pleasure that the final point on Their Royal Highnesses’ tour will be Killarney National Park, encompassing visits to both Killarney House and Muckross House. Over one hundred and fifty years ago Queen Victoria, her husband Prince Albert and her children arrived in Killarney by train. On her first night, she stayed in Kenmare House, which once stood on these grounds. The Killarney House we see today was formerly the stables of Kenmare House. The Queen and her family would then go on to stay in Muckross House.
“I am delighted that Their Royal Highnesses have followed in Queen Victoria’s footsteps. Killarney is truly one of the most beautiful places in the world and, as Minister with responsibility for this National Park, I am especially proud to open these “Golden Gates” to our masterpiece of nature for such illustrious visitors.”
Notes to Editors:
Killarney National Park
Killarney National Park contains Ireland’s first National Park, the Bourn Vincent Memorial Park, carved out of the Muckross Estate, which was granted to the State in 1932. Acquisitions by the State in 1979 and 1986 added the Kenmare Estate to the National Park, creating the 10,289 hectare Killarney National Park, which includes the Lakes of Killarney, and contains the largest area of Ireland’s remaining oakwoods. This distinctive combination of mountains, lakes, woods and waterfalls under ever changing skies gives the area a special scenic beauty. It is estimated that Killarney National Park receives over 1 million visitors per year. The Park includes important cultural heritage sites such as Muckross House, Muckross Abbey and Ross Castle. A herd of red deer, the only remaining native large mammal in Ireland roams the uplands of the park. The Park was re-designated to be part of the expanded UNESCO Kerry Biosphere.
This nineteenth century Victorian mansion is set against the stunning beauty of Killarney National Park. It is surrounded by the world famous Lakes of Killarney as well as the mountains and woodlands that surround them. In 1861, Queen Victoria paid a visit to Muckross House with her family. Muckross House was first opened to the Public in 1964. Since its opening, the facilities at Muckross have been developed into a major visitor attraction. The property comprises of Muckross House, Traditional Farms, Restaurant/Walled Gardens/Craft Centre and Schoolhouse Project. The preservation and management of Muckross House and its associated operations has been shared between the State and the Trustees of Muckross House Ltd. since 1965.
In 1998, Killarney House was acquired by the State. It is a property of significant architectural and historic importance. The development and restoration was structured to establish Killarney House and Gardens as the gateway interpretative centre for Killarney National Park, highlighting the natural beauty to be found there. Killarney House is a visitor centre in its own right and 3 formal rooms have been carefully restored to their former glory telling the remarkable history of the house and its inhabitants. The rooms include antique furniture, some of which belonged to the Earls of Kenmare, original paintings and chandeliers that hung in the House in the days of its previous owners. The historic rooms were officially opened in July 2017 and the Interpretation Centre will be opened in 2018. The restored Gardens of Killarney House were opened to much acclaim in August 2016.