OPW announces record visitor numbers to OPW Heritage Sites in 2015

14 March 16

The Office of Public Works (OPW) today (14 March 2016) announced another successful year for visitor numbers to its heritage sites.

The number of recorded visitor numbers to guided sites in 2015 was 4.9 million, up from 4.4 million in 2014.  The top fee paying sites continue to do remarkably well with the Rock of Cashel up by 28,246 bringing its numbers to over 300,000 visitors in 2015 while Dublin Castle continued on its upwards trend with 231,178 visitors. Newgrange accommodated an extra 10,950 bringing its visitors numbers to over 150,000.  Trim Castle, which is another well visited site, also welcomed 86,972 visitors in 2015.

Kilmainham Gaol continued to welcome a large number of visitors, despite the works underway for the 2016 Centenary, recording numbers of 326,635. OPW expects that 2016 will see large increases in visitor numbers to the Gaol, with the completion of the new visitor facility in the old Kilmainham Courthouse this month.

Visitor numbers take into account not just ticketed visitors but also admissions to various events and in some cases those people visiting the grounds/parklands of a site where visitors can be recorded. Castletown House and Parklands visitor numbers reached nearly 300,000 while the National Botanic Gardens had over 553,000 visitors through its gates despite it being such a wet year. Outside of Dublin, Kilkenny Castle welcomed an extra 23,338 visitors bringing their numbers to approximately 283,000 to the Castle with many more visiting the grounds.  In addition, the inclusion of many OPW sites on the highly popular Wild Atlantic Way has also contributed to a highly successful tourist season for 2015.

In 2015 OPW also introduced new schemes to attract visitors to the towns and surrounding areas of noted heritage sites like Dún Aonghasa and the Rock of Cashel, benefiting both the local area and the sites involved.


For further information please contact Colette Davis, OPW Press Officer at 087 947 5552 or colette.davis@opw.ie

Notes to Editors:
Altamont 58,435
Arás an Uachtarán 4,343
Ardfert Cathedral 7,802
Athenry Castle          10,848
Aughnanure Castle  36,929
Ballyhack Castle 2,613
Battle of the Boyne/Oldbridge Estate 58,053
Blasket Centre 48,261
Boyle Abbey 6,919
Bru na Boinne 44,705
Newgrange 150,125
Knowth 69,057
Cahir Castle 68,532
Carrowmore 37,566
Casino Marino 18,141
Castletown House & Parklands 297,691
Céide Fields 32,821
Charles Fort 86,849
Clonmacnoise 157,660
Corlea Trackway Visitor Centre 5,331
Derrynane House 26,961
Desmond Castle 9,493
Desmond Hall 11,150
Donegal Castle 47,136
Dublin Castle 231,178
Dún Aonghasa 120,104
Dungarvan Castle 17,280
Dunmore Cave 43,767
Emo Court 13,244
Ennis Friary 11,377
Farmleigh Estate 410,076
Ferns Castle 9,440
Gallarus Castle 51,816
Garinish Island 58,557
Glebe House and Gallery 23,085
Glendalough Visitor Centre 79,182
Grianan of Aileach 107,968
Hill of Tara 159,686
J F Kennedy Arboretum 96,910
Jerpoint Abbey 23,442
Kilkenny Castle 282,588
Kilmacurragh Gardens 67,083
Kilmainham Gaol 326,635
Listowel 8,110
Loughcrew 14,416
Main Guard 7,951
Maynooth Castle 21,843
Mellifont Abbey 12,493
National Botanic Gardens 553,348
Newmills Corn and Flax Mills 4,173
Parke’s Castle 16,620
Pearse Museum 35,418
Pearse’s Cottage 8,946
Phoenix Park Visitor Centre 141,582
Portumna Castle 14,237
Rathfarnham Castle 3,737
Reginald’s Tower 30,818
Reginald’s Tower – French Church 3,212
Rock of Cashel 300,749
Roscrea Heritage 25,715
Ross Castle 95,785
Scattery Island 1,750
Skellig Michael 12,560
Sligo Abbey 15,592
St. Audeon’s Church 33,092
St. Mary’s Church, Gowran 2,634
Swiss Cottage 24,146
Tintern Abbey 15,227
Trim Castle 86,972
Total Visitors to OPW Guided Sites 2015      4,921,965