Grant for Wicklow’s Historic Gaol

Friday 27th April 2012

Deputy Doyle Announces €192,000 Grant for Refurbishment of Wicklow’s Historic Gaol

Wicklow T.D Andrew Doyle is delighted to announce the allocation of significant funding under the Failte Ireland Tourism Capital Investment Programme, Heritage Fund towards the refurbishment of one of Wicklow’s biggest tourist attractions.

Wicklow’s Historic Gaol has been granted €192,000 from the National Heritage Fund to carry out critical works to secure the future of the historic building.  The figure amounts to 80% of the total requirement of €240,000 for the replacement, renewal and revitalisation of the building’s current tourism offering.

In December of last year, Deputy Doyle facilitated an official visit by Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar to meet with tourism stakeholders at Wicklow’s Historic Gaol.  The grant submission had been made some months earlier.  The visit afforded the opportunity for Martina Robinson, Manager of Wicklow’s Historic Gaol, to present Wicklow Gaol’s case to the Minister.

The Minister heard that Wicklow’s Historic Gaol is the tourism gateway to the town of Wicklow, bringing in the region of 40,000 visitors to the town every year.  Robinson outlined the plans to continue to increase this number year on year, indicating the critical requirement for the grant. 

Deputy Doyle said he is very grateful to the Minister for taking his concerns and those of Wicklow tourism representatives on board by allocating 80% of the total budget required.   He also expressed sincere gratitude to Fáilte Ireland for their unwavering support in bringing the grant application to fruition.

“The funding will go towards increasing visitor numbers to the town of Wicklow by upgrading the facility to enhance the building’s tourism offering and will include:

  • the replacement, renewal and revitalisation of current exhibition items including mannequins
  • the installation of new audio visual systems
  • the installation of interactive multimedia experiences
  • enhancing the overall visitor experience .“

Deputy Doyle paid tribute to Martina Robinson and the team at Wicklow Gaol for the Trojan work undertaken in developing and growing the building’s tourist offering over the last number of years, which he said was instrumental to the Minister recognising the opportunity.

Minister Varadkar arrived at the height of the award-winning Victorian Christmas experience at the Gaol.  Wicklow was full of activity the day he arrived, as significant visitor numbers from Wicklow and across Ireland were arriving continuously for the much-publicised unique event.  He was very impressed.  Just three months later, Wicklow Gaol hit the national and international airwaves once again with the launch of the spectacular Eliza Davis story.  This level of determination and commitment to enhance Wicklow as a tourist destination was very much noted at government level.  I would like to commend Martina Robinson and her team for their uncompromising dedication to keeping the Gaol open and attracting so many visitors to the town and county of Wicklow.”