A towering attraction

by Mark O'Brien
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The Round Tower Interpretive Centre in Clondalkin was officially opened to the public at a ceremony last week.

The centre – which features an interpretative centre, exhibition space, cafe, gardens, terrace dining and craft shop – was opened by Mayor of South Dublin Paul Gogarty on Tuesday, October 3.

Speaking at the opening, Cllr Gogarty said: “The visitor centre was conceived by the council in collaboration with the local community to celebrate the round tower and to respond to the origins of the site and its history.

“I would like to acknowledge the support of the Office of Public Works who worked very closely with the council on the delivery of this wonderful project, it clearly demonstrates what can be achieved when we come together to work collaboratively for the good of the community.”

Tanaiste Frances Fitzgerald also attended the opening along with council chief Danny McLoughlin.

Speaking at the ceremony, the Tanaiste paid tribute to Mr McLoughlin for his work in completing the project since he took over the role four years ago.

“I would like to thank Danny for his dedication to this project,” she said. “From day one he understood the need to protect this monument for future generations, the potential it held to lift Clondalkin Village and give it the recognition it deserved.”

The Tanaiste also paid tribute to the people of Clondalkin for their dedication and enthusiasm for the project.

“A plan that has been realised with the opening of this Centre,” she said.

“So, the biggest ‘thank you’ today goes to the community of Clondalkin, through the guidance of the buttress that is the Clondalkin Round Tower Heritage Group.

“It is your pride in where you come from, your passion for its past and your commitment to its future that brings us all here today.”

Minister Fitzgerald added that, while local hotels had benefitted from being located near major road networks, the village had missed out on valuable tourist trade which it is hoped the centre will attract.

“As well as this centre and the community, Clondalkin has come a long way over the years,” she said.

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