Thursday 14 December 2017

Restored Killarney House opens its doors to public

Heather Humphreys in Killarney House
Heather Humphreys in Killarney House

Anne Lucey

The newest visitor attraction in the State - Killarney House - is opening its doors to the public for free for a few weeks.

The Irish Museum of Modern Art is "to expand its reach" and showcase its collections in the 18th century structure, which reopened yesterday morning following a multi-million euro restoration.

Minister Heather Humphreys cut the ribbon at the opening after a five-year project undertaken at a cost of €10m.

The figure includes extensive work to acres of gardens to bring them back to their 18th century and Edwardian glory, and the restoration of antique furniture including the original 'Golden Gates'.

The late John McShain, known as the builder of Washington for his major public buildings projects, bought the estate in the 1950s.

Afterwards he donated more than 8,000 acres of what is now the Killarney National Park to the State and had sold the remainder, including the house, to the OPW in 1979. It became the State's on the death of his wife Mary in 2009. Caretaker Harry O'Donoghue, now employed by the OPW, is the third generation of his family to work behind the high walls.

"I am delighted it's open for the people of Killarney," Mr O'Donoghue said yesterday.

Irish Independent

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