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Thursday, 3rd March 2022

New €1.8m visitor experience opens at Knowth

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Pictured at the official opening of the Knowth Visitor Experience are (from left): Clare Tuffy, Manager of the Brú na Boinne visitor centres at Newgrange and Knowth, Failte Ireland CEO Paul Kelly, Minister of State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works Patrick O’Donovan TD, Michelle Whelan of Boyne Valley Tourism, Brian Franzoni who installed the new interpretive exhibition and Ken Wiliams who did the photography for the exhibition. Photo: Andy Spearman.

A new visitor experience was officially opened this morning at Knowth which Failte Ireland says will support 266 additional jobs and generate €1.6million in additional tourism revenue over five years in the Louth/Meath region.

Fáilte Ireland has invested almost €1.4million into the new tourist attraction. Through the partnership with the National Monuments Service and the Office of Public Works, which manages Knowth as part of the UNESCO World Heritage Property of Brú na Bóinne, visitors to Knowth will be welcomed for a greatly extended season for the first time.

The enhanced experience includes improved interpretation to tell the story of the 50-year archaeological excavation of the site by Professor George Egan, the significance of the site’s Megalithic art and its importance in national and international terms.

Knowth, which makes up part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Brú na Bóinne, is a major repository of megalithic stone art, containing more than half of the known megalithic art in Europe in one single location.

The new Knowth visitor hub is a continuation of the upgraded Brú na Bóinne visitor experience offering a large digital exhibition exploring the rock art of Knowth and accompanied by engaging interactives and audio visuals.

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media Catherine Martin TD (centre) and Minister of State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works (OPW) Patrick O’Donovan TD with tour guides Sharon Downey, Jackie Finnegan and Rofney McKenna (right) at the official opening of the Knowth Visitor Experience. Photo: Andy Spearman.

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media Catherine Martin TD Catherine Martin said: “Knowth is one of the most culturally significant sites in Ireland, and indeed Europe. The new visitor experience will allow domestic and international visitors to step back in time and immerse themselves in our rich Megalithic culture.

“This attraction will add another unique element to the tourism offering at Brú na Bóinne, encouraging more people to visit Meath and the surrounding region, and generating significant economic impact for the area.”

Minister Patrick O’Donovan said: “Thanks to this investment, we are able to further enhance the visitor experience in the Boyne Valley by providing accessible and accurate interpretation of this prestigious archaeological site.

“Knowth, Newgrange and the Boyne Valley region are among Ireland’s greatest cultural and tourism gems, whose significance is known the world over. This is highlighted by the wonderful exhibition currently showing at the British Museum -The World of Stonehenge - where some of the exquisite finds from Knowth, on loan from the National Museum of Ireland, such as the Knowth mace head, the Knowth carved conical object and the Knowth stone vessel are on display. This shows the international reputation of this site and the objects uncovered.”

Fáilte Ireland CEO, Paul Kelly said: “For tourism to recover we must have stand out attractions to entice visitors, domestic and international, to explore Ireland. The new visitor experience at Knowth will attract more visitors to the region, support new jobs and has been executed in a sustainable way to ensure this historically important site is preserved for generations to come.”

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