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New Developments for Vandeleur Walled Gardens Experience

17 February 2023

2023 is set to a herald a new era for Vandeleur Walled Gardens Experience in Kilrush after Clare County Council announced today that a new interpretative museum will open at the popular West Clare visitor attraction later this year.

Works have been ongoing since 2021 to extensively restore and renovate the old stable block at the site, which also will feature a new gardeners’ building. The project is funded by the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund, Project Ireland 2040, under the Department of Rural and Community Development with match funding by Clare County Council.

Considered one of the jewels in the crown of West Clare tourism, Vandeleur Walled Gardens Experience is centred on a sheltered walled garden that was formerly part of the Vandeleur Family Demesne.

Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, Cllr Tony O’Brien, has praised the local authority for its significant investment in the visitor attraction in recent years as part of an overall Visitor Development Strategy that also includes the improved use of the 420 acres of surrounding native woodland.

He added: “As the tourism sector recovery continues apace following the pandemic it is critical that every opportunity to further strengthen and widen the breadth of tourism product on offer in Clare is taken. Clare County Council, with the support of Kilrush Civic Amenity Trust Ltd., is committed to delivering a top-class visitor attraction that will deliver long lasting and tangible economic benefits for Kilrush, West Clare and the wider economy.”

Pat Dowling, Chief Executive, Clare County Council, commented: “With support from government, Clare County Council is committed to investing in the future development of the attraction not only to help recover tourism and assist rural regeneration in Kilrush and surrounding areas, but also to create opportunities for economic growth and employment in the wider region.”

Noel Kilkenny, Chairperson of Kilrush Amenity Trust, said there has been a hugely positive response from customers and visitors to the Visitor Development Strategy for Vandeleur Walled Gardens Experience. He acknowledged the ongoing support of the Department of Rural and Community Development, Clare County Council, Coillte, the relevant design teams, and the staff and management of the Centre for bringing the new developments to fruition.

“This is good news for Kilrush, and we are proud to be able to add to the ever-expanding portfolio of high-quality tourist amenities in West Clare,” added Mr Kilkenny.

Donnacha Lynch, Head of Commercial Services, also confirmed that Clare County Council is funding the development of a new café/restaurant on site with qualified applicants invited to operate the new facility, which is presently known as The Woodland Bistro. Queries on this can be routed directly to Ben Pearson of Agar Commercial Property.

Deirdre O’Shea, Head of Tourism, Clare County Council, commented: “The opening of a new interpretative centre and café is a significant move towards developing a best-in-class heritage attraction in West Clare at a time when heritage tourism continues to grow amongst domestic and international tourists alike. Continued investment in developing a strong tourism product development is also a strategic objective as set out in the Clare Tourism Strategy 2030 – Guiding our Journey to a Vibrant New Future in Tourism.

Ruth Hurley, Project Manager and Senior Executive Architect with Clare County Council, confirmed that the design team for the café project comprises Tom McNamara (Quantity Surveyor), P Coleman & Associates (Architects/Engineers), Moloney Fox Consulting Engineers (Mechanical & Engineering) and Ruth Minogue (Ecology).

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Caption: Pictured at Vandeleur Walled Gardens Experience, Kilrush, County Clare, are (l-r): Stephanie Leonard; Liam Williams; Colette Costello; Leonard Cleary; Donnacha Lynch; Cllr Tony O’Brien, Cathaoirleach, Clare County Council; Pat Dowling, Chief Executive, Clare County Council; Ruth Hurley; Noel Kilkenny; Deirdre O’Shea; Steve Lahiffe; Cllr Gabriel Keating; and Siobhan King. Photo: Eamon Ward. Repro Free.

Page last reviewed: 17/02/23

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