A huge investment in tourism is set to deliver a quartet of unique new attractions on the Emerald Isle.
The exciting new best-in-class experiences are planned for counties Cavan, Donegal, Dublin and Mayo, following the most significant investment in tourist attractions ever undertaken by the Irish Government.
The €73 million investment from Fáilte Ireland and public and private partners will deliver four large-scale, diverse and engaging projects that, when complete, will bring Ireland’s vibrant culture, heritage and people to life in exciting new ways.
Catering for all tastes, the new attractions are located in a UNESCO Global Geopark in County Cavan, a high fort on a hilltop in County Donegal, the centre of Dublin and a vast estate in County Mayo.
A brand new world-class experience in Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands will comprise of a flagship attraction located at the source of the River Shannon, the Shannon Pot, and the enhancement of the existing Cavan Burren Park.
The Shannon Pot Discovery Centre will reveal the waterway’s rich heritage, culture and influence on Irish life from the earliest settlers to the modern day and allow visitors to begin a journey of the mighty Shannon at its source. Cavan Burren Park, located under the shadow of Cuilcagh Mountain, is widely recognised as one of the finest prehistoric relict landscapes in Ireland. Among the enhancement plans here is the installation of an elevated forest viewing walkway.
Fort Dunree and Head in County Donegal will feature Ireland’s first funicular cable railway. The one-of-a-kind attraction will offer travellers a thrilling ascent to the high fort amid incredible 360-degree vistas of the Wild Atlantic Way. A dramatic glass walkway at the site will jut over the waters of Lough Swilly, providing spectacular views of the natural environment.
‘This Is Ireland’ in Dublin will be an immersive experience consisting of multiple shows, with its principal feature being a simulated flight experience based on similar attractions in Amsterdam and Vancouver. The ‘edutainment’ attraction will feature a breath-taking and engaging experience of Irish history, the Ireland of today, and the ultimate finale – a flight using state-of-the-art flight simulation and audio-visual technology.
The largest investment will be at the wonderful 300-acre Westport House and Gardens Estate in County Mayo, which will be re-imagined to provide a multi-layered, multi-day experience. The new attraction will allow visitors to explore ancient Irish rituals and Ireland’s connections to the land as told through a series of accessible wild and natural spaces.
Westport House and Gardens will also be restored. Visitors will be able to enjoy the enhanced experience of the grand house with its formal gardens while learning about the trail-blazing pirate queen and chieftain Grace O’Malley and the Browne family who have lived there for centuries.
Fáilte Ireland intends to launch further investment schemes in the coming years as it continues to invest significantly in Irish tourism in the wake of the pandemic.