O'Connell's ancestral home closes for refurbishment


Derrynane House, the ancestral home of Daniel O’Connell and an important tourist attraction on the Ring of Kerry, will not open to the public this year.

The closure, to allow for a €1.2 million refurbishment, has been greeted with dismay by tour operators and hoteliers.

Derrynane, with its collection of O’Connell memorabilia, including his coach, has seen an increase in tourist numbers in recent years and gets more than 23,000 visitors a year.

Mary O’Connor of the Derrynane Hotel and cottages said nobody in the tourism industry had been informed and coach tour operators already had their plans in place.

The Office of Public Works, which manages the estate, said the surrounding 300 acres would remain open while the work went on in the house.

“A temporary exhibition on O’Connell and Derrynane will be on display for visitors during the summer of 2013 and tours of the beautiful estate will be given.”

In a statement it said it was collaborating with Fáilte Ireland “to bring Derrynane into the 21st century as a key visitor attraction in Kerry”.

The work would begin in April and would take six months.