OPW delays Derrynane House closure
Derrynane House, former home of Daniel O'Connell. photograph: don macmonagle
The Office of Public Works (OPW) is to postpone the closure of the museum and former home of “The Liberator” Daniel O’Connell at Derrynane on the Ring of Kerry, in a reversal of a decision announced last week.
Confirmation by the OPW at the weekend that the key cultural attractions on the Ring of Kerry was to close for refurbishment at the height of the tourist season in 2013, the year of the Gathering festival, had been greeted with dismay last week.
Meetings between community leaders and Minister for the Arts and Heritage Jimmy Deenihan took place at the weekend.
Yesterday in a statement, Mr Deenihan said he welcomed the confirmation received from Minister of State at the OPW, Brian Hayes, that Derrynane House would remain open for the summer.
Hotelier Mary O’Connell, who heads tourism bodies in the area, welcomed the news but she has questioned how the house could have been earmarked for closure during the Gathering year in the first place.
‘Out of touch’
“It just goes to show how out of touch the different groups are in Government with what goes on on the ground, especially in rural Ireland,” she said.
It had been understood that the works would be carried out outside the main tourism season. The house, tea rooms and park at Derrynane make up the single most visited attraction in the south Kerry area. Its closure to allow for six months of refurbishment from April had caused consternation within the tourism industry, which had been focusing on taking advantage of opportunities provided by the Gathering tourism project announced by the Government for 2013.