National Gallery and Guinness Storehouse top visitor lists

Attractions top free-of-charge and paid-for listings, according to Fáilte Ireland

The National Gallery of Ireland is the most visited free attraction in the Republic of Ireland, according to rankings compiled by Fáilte Ireland.

More than half a million people (593,183) visited the National Gallery in 2014, down from 641,572 in 2013.

Among fee-charging attractions, the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin has beaten the Cliffs of Moher visitor experience in Clare to the number one spot.

Last year, the Storehouse welcomed over 1.2 million visitors - an increase of over 100,000 over the previous year’s performance.

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For paid attractions, the Storehouse was followed by the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience and Dublin Zoo, which both registered more than a million paying visitors in 2014.

New entry

A new entry to the top ten free attractions last year, Doneraile Wildlife Park, entered the list at number three with 460,000 visitors during 2014.

Numbers of visitors increased at the National Museum of Ireland - Archaeology (up 10 per cent) and the Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin (up 5 per cent ).

Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin, which featured in the top ten in 2013 with 326,207 visitors, did not make the 2014 list.

Minister of State for Transport, Tourism and Sport Michael Ring said the Government has invested significantly in new and existing attractions.

Positive experience

“Our great variety of attractions, whether free or fee-paying, is an important part of our allure to visitors and add to the positive experience enjoyed by tourists here.”

Chief executive of Fáilte Ireland Shaun Quinn said tourism in Ireland is on course for a record year in terms of activity and visitors in 2015.

“With that in mind, we would expect the attendance numbers for most attractions to rise even further.

“We in Fáilte Ireland have invested quite heavily in our tourism infrastructure in recent years to ensure that Ireland remained an appealing destination despite the downturn.

“Now that tourism is on the rise again, Ireland and its strong collection of attractions are perfectly poised to welcome and cater for ever greater numbers.”

Top 10 Fee-Charging Attractions 2014

Guinness Storehouse (Dublin) 1,269,371

Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience (Clare) 1,080,501

Dublin Zoo (Dublin) 1,076,876

National Aquatic Centre (Dublin) 931,074

Book of Kells (Dublin) 650,476

St Patrick’s Cathedral (Dublin) 457,277

Tayto Park (Meath) 450,000

Fota Wildlife Park (Cork) 438,000

Blarney Castle (Cork) 390,000

Rock of Cashel (Tipperary) 372,503

Top 10 Free Attractions 2014

National Gallery of Ireland (Dublin) 593,183

National Botanic Gardens (Dublin) 541,946

Doneraile Wildlife Park (Cork) 460,000

National Museum of Ireland - Archaeology, Kildare Street (Dublin) 447,137

Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin (Dublin) 406,982

Farmleigh (Dublin) 402,773

Newbridge Silverware Museum of Style Icons (Kildare) 350,000

Irish Museum of Modern Art (Dublin) 306,662

Chester Beatty Library (Dublin) 304,000

National Museum of Ireland - Natural History, Merrion Street (Dublin) 300,272

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