On the 8th December, Martin Cullen TD, Minister of Arts, Sports and Tourism formally announced the allocation of almost 11.2 million in Development Grants for six of the country’s main visitor attractions in counties Cork, Wicklow, Kilkenny, Wexford and Roscommon, as part of Fáilte Ireland’s Capital Investment Programme.  According to the Minister, “the projects for which funding has been allocated are excellent examples of existing attractions which will benefit from funding for upgrading and development of historic houses and other projects.”

The nominated projects were: Fota House and Gardens, Co Cork, Russborough, Blessington, Co Wicklow, Rothe House, Kilkenny, Dunbrody, New Ross, Co Wexford, Strokestown Museum, Co Roscommon, and Blarney Castle, Blarney, Co Cork. Rothe House is now recognised to be a major national attraction and an essential element in Ireland’s heritage and cultural history, and this funding will assist us to implement the recommendations of our Conservation Plan, and the House Re-presentation project.

The grant from Failte Ireland amounts to €1.9 million for Rothe House, and only provides part funding of the capital required for our House Re-presentation project. It is conditional on the Society and the Trust providing matching funding for the project. Whilst the Kilkenny Local Authorities have been very supportive, we will still need to carry-out another major fundraising campaign throughout 2009.