Written answers

Thursday, 19 May 2022

Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

Office of Public Works

Photo of Fergus O'DowdFergus O'Dowd (Louth, Fine Gael)
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227. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he will review the absence of electronic payment at some OPW sites nationwide; the number of such locations; when electronic payment will be installed; the income received from each OPW location per-annum for the past three years; if he will consider free admissions in the future to encourage more visitors; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25534/22]

Photo of Patrick O'DonovanPatrick O'Donovan (Limerick County, Fine Gael)
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The OPW is committed to providing card payment facilities at all sites with an admission charge, however, there are instances where poor connectivity and/or features of the site’s infrastructure render the provision of such facilities more complex. Currently there are seven such sites where work remains ongoing in terms of finding appropriate technological solutions that will enable card payments. It is anticipated that such facilities should become available at all of these sites during the course of 2022.

In line with the Government’s Covid-19 recovery plan, and in support of the national tourism recovery agenda, the OPW waived all admission charges in 2021. In 2020, most admission charges were waived or reduced.

The OPW operates a range of free entry initiatives such as free educational visits and free entry for children under twelve, for people with disabilities and their carers, and free access to many sites on the first Wednesday of each month. These initiatives enhance the accessibility and inclusiveness of the heritage sites in its care and all OPW-managed parks and gardens that are freely accessible to Irish residents continue to offer significant amenity value to residents and tourists alike.

The table below details the income from ticketed admissions and heritage card sales at OPW heritage sites in 2019 and 2020. (It should be noted that for 2020, the admissions recorded relate to the period 01/01/20-15/3/20 after which point sites were closed in line with Covid19 guidelines and admission fees were waived when sites reopened that year.) Similarly, admission charges were not applied in 2021.

Site Name 2019 2020
Altamount €2,187 €885
Ardfert Cathedral €15,281 Free admission
Askeaton Castle Not applicable Free admission
Athenry Castle €21,526 Free admission
Aughnanure Castle €101,042 Free admission
Ballyhack Castle Free admission Not applicable
Battle of the Boyne €101,232 €5,128
Blasket Centre €138,312 €8,928
Boyle Abbey €18,155 Free admission
Bru na Boinne €575 €77,311
Newgrange €53,479 €44,503
Knowth Free admission Free admission
Bryce House - Garinish Island Free admission Not applicable
Cahir Castle €273,621 €10,676
Carrowmore €119,389 €84
Casino Marino Free admission Free admission
Castletown Experiences €12,146 €735
Castletown House €76,002 €3,884
Céide Fields €87,042 €316
Charles Fort €315,291 €17,951
Clonmacnoise €766,486 €47,754
Corlea Trackway Visitor Centre Free admission Free admission
Derrynane House €68,952 €21,059
Desmond Hall €130 Free admission
Donegal Castle €160,280 €3,291
Doneraile Estate €40,550 €6,926
Dublin Castle €2,680,309 €359,726
Dún Aonghasa €361,267 €6,751
Dungarvan Castle €350 Free admission
Dunmore Cave €87,563 €7,289
Emo Court €24,648 Not applicable
Ennis Friary €41,100 Free admission
Farmleigh €63,474 €1,007
Ferns Castle €120 Not applicable
French Church Free admission Free admission
Garinish Island €229,619 €53,675
Glebe House and Gallery €13,329 Free admission
Glendalough Visitor Centre €247,669 €8,288
Hill of Tara €26,234 Free admission
J F Kennedy Arboretum €94,812 €16,729
Jerpoint Abbey €84,499 €1,601
Kells Priory Free admission Free admission
Kilkenny Castle €1,601,489 €284,610
Kilmainham Gaol €2,115,152 €292,544
Listowel Free admission Free admission
Loughcrew Free admission Free admission
Main Guard €230 Free admission
Maynooth Castle €490 Not applicable
Mellifont Abbey €9,308 Free admission
National Botanic Gardens €23,315 €3,290
Newmills Corn and Flax Mills €180 Free admission
Ormond Castle €13,337 Free admission
Parke's Castle €45,613 Free admission
Pearse Museum €990 €30
Pearse's Cottage €29,738 €927
Phoenix Park Visitor Centre €2,120 €150
Portumna Castle €45,905 Free admission
Rathfarnham Castle €8,634 €1,206
Reginald's Tower €55,462 Free admission
Rock of Cashel €1,995,528 €101,114
Roscrea Heritage €6,163 Free admission
Ross Castle €139,824 €2,068
Scattery Island Free admission Free admission
Skellig Michael Free admission Free admission
Sligo Abbey €56,722 Not applicable
St. Audoen's Church €610 Not applicable
St. Mary's Church, Gowran €60 Not applicable
Swiss Cottage €58,221 Not applicable
Tintern Abbey €58,751 Free admission
Trim Castle €227,879 €12,412
Total €12,822,391 €1,402,848


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