€213k in funding for Shackleton Gardens

by Gazette Reporter
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Funding is set to be pumped into restoring the once famous Shackleton Gardens with a view to making it a major tourist attraction.
The Gazette has been informed that the board of Failte Ireland is due to sign off on funding in the region of €213,000 for Shackleton Gardens.
According to information received by the Gazette, a meeting was due to take place on Wednesday, May 22 where the allocation was to get the official stamp of approval that will allow the restoration project to go ahead.
This funding will cover more than half of the €415,000 needed for plans drawn up by Fingal County Council to restore the gardens and see it reopen to the general public.
It is being considered that the gardens will have major tourism potential for their rare plants, and their connection with the famous explorer Ernest Shackleton.
When contacted by the Gazette on Tuesday, March 21, a spokesperson for Failte Ireland said “no decision has been made yet” but indicated that a decision will be made “shortly”.
Commenting on the possibility of funding being approved, Tourism Minister Leo Varadkar (FG), said: “Shackleton Gardens is a hidden gem tucked away in Beech Park, Clonsilla. It’s got great potential as a tourism attraction, because historic gardens are increasingly popular with tourists. It will also be popular as an amenity for local residents.
“Financial support from Failte Ireland would allow the gardens to be restored to their former glory. In the longer-term, I’m very excited about the idea of promoting the gardens’ link to the explorer Ernest Shackleton and the broader Shackleton family.”
A spokesperson for Fingal County Council confirmed the council was “applying” to Failte Ireland for funding for the restoration of Shackleton Gardens.
“We are currently in the process of taking the gardens in charge. If funding is received it is hoped to open the gardens on completion of the restoration project.”
The Shackleton Gardens, located in Beechpark Clonsilla, were previously ranked as one of the premier walled gardens in Ireland.
The gardens cover 1.5 acres and in the 1990s were ranked as one of the top four gardens for herbaceous borders in Ireland or Britain.
The gardens contain a wide range of rare and exotic plants but fell into disrepair in recent years.
There have also been discussions about the possibility of providing a visitor centre about the Shackleton family in the longer-term, which would have a particular focus on Ernest Shackleton and his numerous voyages.

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