A NEW era in the management of Muckross House in Killarney has been ushered in with the signing of an updated agreement between the State and a local board of trustees for the running of the leading tourist attraction.
Board chairman, Rory D’Arcy, has welcomed what he described as a new development in the 50-year-old partnership with the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
Minister of State for Regional Economic Development, Michael Ring, signed the agreement on behalf of the State and Mr D’Arcy signed on behalf of the Trustees, a voluntary body with charitable status. The board works in close cooperation with the department in the care and upkeep of Muckross House.
At the prompting of the first board of trustees, led by the late Dr Frank Hilliard, Muckross House first opened to the public as a folk museum on 14 June 1964. Since then, the board has been involved in the management of the facility and the latest agreement, which covers the next five years, continues the successful partnership approach.
Mr D’Arcy said it is a fine example of what can be achieved with the goodwill of the community working in conjunction with the State.
“This is a historic day for the Trustees and this agreement further emphasises our commitment to safeguarding the historic fabric of Muckross House for future generations,” he said.
“It is the start of a new era and that commitment is emphasised by the ongoing capital works programme which includes the refurbishment of the windows.”
Minister Ring said the founding members of the Trustees of Muckross House deserve enormous credit for their foresight and initiative at a time when economic development and the promotion of a quality tourist product in this State was at a very modest level indeed.
“I am confident that a framework for the successful continuation and further development of this partnership is in place. This agreement will ensure the management and preservation of Muckross House to the highest standards,” he said.
Visitor numbers to the house last year rose to 129,000, a number which has steadily increased over the last number of year.
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