IF YOU’RE GOING to be putting a ring on it, there’s some good news today.
The Office of Public Works has confirmed that seven of Ireland’s heritage sites can now be used as venues for civil ceremonies – and more sites are in the works.
The seven venues, spread out throughout the provinces, include Kilkenny Castle, the Casino at Marino in Dublin, and the Céide Fields Visitor Centre in Mayo.
Castletown House in Kildare, Desmond Hall in Limerick, Barryscourt Castle in Cork and the Blasket Islands Visitor Centre in Kerry can also now be used.
Brian Hayes, the Minister of State with special responsibility for the OPW, said he wanted to see more sites open up for a wider variety of uses, and said he would welcome suggestions from members of the public.
“These are wonderful and iconic sites that are familiar to many of us and are a key part of our cultural heritage,” he said.
The HSE is currently looking at a number of other venues – including Dublin Castle, Emo Court in Laois and Dungarvan Castle in Waterford – to add to the list.
Any couples who want to get married at any of the sites should email the OPW [firstname.lastname@example.org] and state the site which they are interested in using for their big day (bearing in mind that you can only use them for civil ceremonies, and not for a reception afterwards).
There’s also a disclaimer: the OPW notes that in many cases sites will be still open to the public at the same time and ceremonies will have to be balanced with the need to maintain access for other visitors.
Minister Brian Hayes was enthusiastic about the new venues.
“There are many places in our [the OPW's] portfolio apart from the obvious ones – unique venues which would certainly add to the occasion on their special day,” he said.
Here are the seven venues:
The Casino at Marino, Dublin
(Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland)
Castletown House, Kildare
Barryscourt Castle, Cork
Desmond Hall, Limerick
(Marcus Meissner/Flickr/Creative Commons)
Blasket Islands Visitor Centre, Kerry
(Tom Bennett/Flickr/Creative Commons)
Ceide Fields Visitor Centre, Mayo
(Allan Henderson/Flickr/Creative Commons)