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Hayes Launches Restored Bridges at Castlecomer Discovery Park

Tom Hayes, TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with responsibility for forestry, today officially launched restored historic bridges in Castlecomer Discovery Park, Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny.

Castlecomer Discovery Park opened in 2007 and encompasses 80 acres of natural woodland, walking trails and fishing lakes, as well as the Coal Mining museum, commemorating Castlecomer’s long coal mining history and the lives of the miners and their families. The Discovery Park project was supported by Coillte, Kilkenny County Council, Pobal, Kilkenny Leader Partnership and the local community.

Officially launching the bridges, dating from the 1630s which had been the subject of a full restoration project in 2013, using the original building material, the local Clay Gall Sandstone, Minister of State Hayes commented “It is an impressive restoration and I would like to commend all involved for the effort and skill that has clearly gone into the restoration work.  Indeed, the Discovery Park overall is an impressive achievement.  As well as providing a valuable social amenity and recreational space for local people, it preserves an important part of the town’s history and heritage and contributes to the town’s economy by bringing visitors and tourists to the area”.

The Minister of State highlighted the environmental and social benefits of forestry and noted that our woodlands are a recreational resource for ourselves and an attraction for tourists, with an estimated 18 million visitors each year generating some €268 million in economic activities for the surrounding communities. Minister of State Hayes added that “By any calculation, this is a significant addition to our national economy and it demonstrates the potential beneficial impact that a resource like Castlecomer Discovery Park, or any well-managed woodland recreation site, can have on our towns and rural communities” and concluded by congratulating all those involved in Castlecomer Discovery Park noting that “it is an example of what can be achieved with vision and commitment.”

 

View this Press Release as a PDF: DAFMPR51/2014 (pdf 634Kb) 

Date Released: 11 April 2014