Killarney House to be restored


Some €5.2 million from the Tourism capital fund administered by Fáilte Ireland has been announced for the restoration of Killarney House and pleasure grounds.

The 18th century town house, and its nineteenth century pleasure gardens overlooking the lakes of Killarney was originally part of a chateau style building. It was donated to the State by the McShain family, American philanthropists who had bought it from the Kenmare family, local Earls and landlords and is at the gateway to the Killarney National Park.

The sum represents the largest single investment of money for a tourism project, this year, Minister for Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar announced in Killarney this morning.

"Many people don't realise the national park starts right here in the middle of the town," the minister said.

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan, who made the joint announcement described the park as his "Garden of Eden". It was remarkable because of its biodiversity and also because of its architecture from abbeys to castles to period houses.

Handed over to the State in 1998 the house had been left to deteriorate and had become an embarrassment

Taking into account the purchase of original furniture and other restoration works begun recently by the OPW some €10 million was being invested in the house, Mr Deenihan said.