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Tuesday 6 December 2016

Free chance to learn your history but on just one day a month

ROSEMARY O’GRADY

Published 06/07/2011 | 09:21

A new initiative giving free access to Ireland's historic sites on the first Wednesday of every month has been announced.

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The scheme which will take in such sites as the Rock of Cashel and the State apartments in Dublin Castle is an effort to encourage tourists and local people to visit some of the 750 national monuments managed by the Office of Public Works.



Minister of State with special responsibility for the OPW, Brian Hayes said that this scheme which will run until the end of the year was done to stimulate interest in the built heritage of our country.



Speaking on Morning Ireland Mr. Hayes said that It is not purely aimed at encouraging overseas visitors to tour the sites. "We want people to take the opportunity to see these sites which are part and parcel of what we are".



He said he hoped a wider cross section of all communities living in Ireland would avail of this offer to explore these national treasures.



"Since the visit of Queen Elizabeth visitors to the Rock of Cashel increased by 20 per cent and we want to encourage more people to go to these national monuments" said Mr. Hayes.



Access to most OPW sites is free but for some sites such as Kilmainham Gaol, Kilkenny Castle and Newgrange adult visitors pay a fee of between €3-€6 each.



Dropping all entrance fees on the first Wednesday of the month will continue until December and depending on the success of the initiative the OPW may consider extending the offer.



Further information can be had from the website heritageireland.ie

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