Avondale House and Forest Park Redevelopment gets go ahead – Doyle

L-R Ciaran Fallon – Director Stewardship & Public Goods, Coillte Forest, Andrew Doyle TD, Helena Doyle, Coillte Forest. Photo – Mark Harrison

Minister for Forestry and Wicklow TD, Andrew Doyle, has welcomed the announcement that the significant investment plan for Avondale House and Forest Park has been given planning permission from Wicklow County Council and that the re-development plan is now underway.

“This project which is a collaboration between Coillte and Failte Ireland, will position Avondale as one of the top destinations in the County. Avondale is often described as the cradle of modern democracy and the birthplace of Irish forestry and so it is very welcome to see Avondale gaining the recognition that it does truly deserve and fitting that this would happen as we are celebrating the centenary of the first Dail.

“Preparatory work and consultation for this development plan has been taking place for several years which signified the commitment that existed to establish Avondale as a site of national importance with the potential to attract many more visitors to Co. Wicklow. New plans include an enhanced customer experience of Avondale House and its forest history and a vision for the future of Irish forestry with a new visitor centre as well as a café/restaurant.

“I was delighted to welcome the then Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney to Avondale and have since worked with Minister Michael Creed as well as with Coillte to highlight the unique offering presented by Avondale and to bring forward plans for its redevelopment.

“I will be providing input to the detailed design stages when they commence. There is no national forestry library and there is an onus to preserve any information that may be in Avondale on the foundation of the forestry service.

“I am in discussion with Coillte about the shorter term plans also and specifically the need for adequate information and signage around the estate so that visitors can continue to enjoy the park while also being informed about its vision for the future. It is important to ensure that Avondale is open for Summer 2019 season and that proper facilities and information will be available to visitors during this time.

“It is important to recognise the work done so far by Coillte, Failte Ireland, local stakeholders and Wicklow Co. Council and all that has been achieved and I am looking forward to the next stage of this plan for Avondale. With its rich political history, its forestry heritage, its beautiful forest park and surrounding river and woodlands, Avondale will no doubt continue to be a very popular destination among the hills of Wicklow, along Irelands Ancient East trail.”

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