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Lifestyle & Leisure

Visit Charlesfort and Fota Gardens for free this year

Wednesday, 29th July, 2020 5:39pm

A number of historic sites in Cork will be open for free until the end of the year, it has been an- nounced.

Charlesfort in Kinsale will be free from this week until the end of the year. This is also the case for Fota Arboretum and Gardens, while Doneraile Court and gardens has reopened to the public too, but full prices still apply to visits to the house.

Garnish Island near Glengarriff in West Cork has half price admission until the end of the year.

All the sites are operated by the OPW (Office of Public Works) bar Fota Arboretum and Gardens, which is run by the Irish Heritage Trust.

The move is part of the Government’s July Stimulus Plan in an effort to encourage domestic tourists to come to Cork and support the tourism economy.

Minister of State with responsibility for OPW Patrick O’Donovan said: “As a society, we have all endured a huge amount in the past few months and I’m hoping with this measure to remind people of what’s on their doorstep here in Ireland and encourage them to help Ireland’s tourism industry to make it through 2020 and come back with a real bang in 2021.

“Hopefully people will be able to discover something new or maybe they’ll be able to relive a childhood experience with their own families but I’d encourage everyone to get out there and see what Ireland has to offer.”

Senator Tim Lombard said the move is also to provide a greater appeal to Irish people to stay at home and take staycations and short breaks within Ireland particularly over the next six months.

“Hopefully Cork can capitalise on our wonderful local attractions by making it more accessible for those on a budget who are looking for an enjoyable way to spend their 2020 holidays,” he said.

“The economy has suffered a huge shock because of Covid-19 and this is particularly the case in the tourism sector where so many people depend on a strong visitor economy to provide them with jobs.

“The Government has identified the need to act quickly and decisively in support of the tourism sector and the OPW heritage sites will play a part in that by making it attractive cost-wise for individuals and families to visit and for tour operators who wish to bring organised groups.”

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