KILLARNEY Chamber of Tourism and Commerce has expressed condolences to the relatives and friends of the late Mrs Elisabeth Vincent whose husband’s family presented 11,000 acres of land and Muckross House to the Irish State which then became Ireland’s first national park.
She passed away this week at her home in Monte Carlo, Monaco where she had celebrated her landmark 100th birthday with loved ones in April.
Elisabeth and Billy Vincent were married in 1952 and they are survived by their son, Marc, and three grandsons, Matthieu, Antoine and Adrien Banet-Rivet.
Billy Vincent lived for the first eight years of his life in Muckross House. In 1932, his father, Arthur Vincent and grandfather, William Bowers Bourn, presented Muckross House and 11,000 acres to the Irish State.
Billy died in October 2012, at the age of 93. His ashes were interred alongside his father in the family grave at Killegy, Killarney, overlooking Muckross Estate.
Muckross House, which dates back to 1843 and had been previously owned by the Herbert family, was the base for Queen Victoria when she visited Ireland in 1861.
Although the Bourn Vincent family travelled extensively, they always regarded Muckross and Killarney as their home and they invested huge sums of money maintaining and improving the property which overlooks the Lakes of Killarney.
Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce President, Niall Kelleher, said Killarney will be forever grateful to the Bourn Vincent family for their wonderful gift of Muckross House and what is now Killarney National Park to the people.
“In doing so, they helped establish Killarney and the entire county of Kerry as a major tourist attraction and their generosity will never be forgotten,” he said.
“Our thoughts are with the family of Mrs Elisabeth Vincent at this very sad time but it will be some consolation to her loved ones that she lived a long and wonderful life,” the Chamber President added.
At a meeting of Killarney Municipal District Council on Wednesday, he proposed that a vote of sympathy be sent to the relatives of Mrs Vincent.
The board of trustees of Muckross House, Gardens and Traditional Farms, Killarney, also extended sympathy to the family of the late Elisabeth Vincent.
“The Vincent family have made a massive contribution to Killarney and have always maintained close links with the place they regarded as home, despite living in many other lands, including France and America,” said board chairman Donal Hickey.
The Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan, joined in the tributes.
“The State will always be indebted to the Vincent family for their donation of Muckross House and its estate to the people of Ireland in 1932. Their legacy, which evolved into what we now know as Killarney National Park, is something for which we will be forever grateful,” he said.