Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran T.D., Minister of State with special responsibility for the Office of Public Works (OPW) and Flood Relief today welcomed the official opening of the newly restored Ormond Castle Heritage site in Carrick-on-Suir Co. Tipperary following an extensive two and a half year conservation project.
Ormond Castle is the best surviving example of an Elizabethan manor house in Ireland. It was built by Thomas, the 10th Earl of Ormond in the 1560s, adjacent to the earlier 15th century Castle, the remains of which are still visible today. It is the country’s only major unfortified dwelling from that turbulent period and is therefore unique in Ireland. The state rooms contain some of the finest decorative plasterwork in the country, including plasterwork portraits of historical importance.
The Castle, once home to the famous Butler family, had in recent years suffered from serious water penetration into the building which had worsened to a point where large parts of the interior were suffering and the unique original internal plasterwork was threatened. There were also issues with the structural integrity in certain areas of the building where strengthening was required to ensure the building remained intact. Additionally, the most striking feature of the building is the re-rendering of the coloured external façade. This is completely faithful to the period and ensures that the building is protected against further water ingress. These repairs, along with the replacement of the mechanical and electrical systems within the building will ensure that the Castle will be preserved in excellent condition for many years to come.
The Minister said, “This is a wonderful building and the OPW staff have carried out a great job in restoring it to its original splendour. I am delighted to be here today to officially reopen the building to the public after more than 2 years of extensive work by my Office. The project that has been carried out is a significant achievement and a testament to the skill of the OPW staff and apprentices that worked on it. It’s amazing to think that this beautiful building in Carrick-on-Suir, such a wonderful example of an Elizabethan Manor House, is so little known by visitors. Places like Newgrange and the Rock of Cashel rightly get a huge amount of attention from visitors, but the OPW also has a large number of other beautiful sites, like this, that are less well known and which I am sure visitors would really enjoy. The OPW want to bring these hidden gems forward and encourage more people to visit them.”
The Minister confirmed today that the OPW, with the assistance of Fáilte Ireland, has plans to invest further in the site at Carrick-on-Suir by recreating the historic landscaped garden to the front of the property as part of a Phase 2 project and by providing Interpretation for visitors throughout the site.
The Minister said, “There is a huge opportunity here for a major increase in tourism in Carrick-on-Suir. With the support of local people and the various groups which the OPW has been working with, I am confident that there is a very bright future ahead.”