Open Dasy at Johnstown Castle
Published 23/07/2016 | 00:00
Johnstown Castle is opening its doors this week to give people a glimpse of both its past and its future and to learn about its exciting plans for the next few years and to hear from those who have memories of it.
Open Days at Johnstown Casle, which takes place today (Tuesday, July 19) and tomorrow (Wednesday, July 20) is being staged thanks to Teagasc, who are partnering with the Irish Heritage Trust and the Irish Agricultural Museum to undertake conservation work required to open up the Castle for the public in the coming years.
Teagasc have initiated a project to secure the future of Johnstown Castle and its grounds, thanks to the support of Government, which has allocated €7.5 million for the project.
Once complete, the property will offer an exciting visitor experience with three floors of the castle open to the public, a new visitor centre, improved paths and activities in the gardens, combined with new car-parking and entrance arrangements.
'We welcome everybody to join us here at Johnstown Castle.. where the public will have the unique opportunity to roam the Castle, meet some of our team and learn more about plans for the future,'
said Paddy Browne of Teagasc.
'We are still very much in the design and planning phase of the project and we would now like to update the public, as well as hear stories from those in Wexford who have any memories or connections to Johnstown Castle,' he said.
'Johnstown Castle is a significant building of national importance and there are essential conservation works required to allow greater public access,' said Kevin Baird, CEO of the Irish Heritage Trust.
'These will have to be done with great care and will take some time. Initially this will involve vital elements to make the Castle safe and accessible,' he said.
'We are delighted with the interest and passion local people have in this special place and we hope as the project develops everyone will find ways to get involved at the property to help us care for Johnstown Castle and share it with everyone.'
In 2015, Teagasc issued a public tender looking for a visionary partner to come on board with them to re-imagine the future of Johnstown Castle and Estate.
The Irish Heritage Trust was announced as the successful applicant, and was specifically brought on board by Teagasc to assist them over the next two years with the capital re-development of the Castle & Grounds, delivering a strong visitor experience in a large part by reflecting the history of the Estate.
The Trust will then be appointed by Teagasc to operate the re-imagined Johnstown Castle Estate & Grounds for seven years.
In October 2015, then Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin, announced €7.5 million for the proposed development of the Castle. The Open Days will take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. today (Tuesday) and from 11.30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 2.30 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday.