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Dublin: 10 °C Tuesday 22 October, 2019

These are the most popular heritage sites in Ireland, did your county make it?

The National Botanic Gardens came out on top with over half a million visits in 2014.

Image: Sam Boal via

OVER 4.5 MILLION people visited heritage sites in Ireland last year, with the number increasing from 2014.

The Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform Simon Harris said that while the figures for 2015 are still in the process of being compiled, provisional estimates indicate an increase on the year previous.

Figures for 2014 show that 4.5 million people visited the 69 OPW heritage sites which are guided – with the National Botanic Gardens coming out on top with 541,946 visits.

Farmleigh Estate was next in line with 402, 773 visits and the Dublin theme kept on going with Kilmainham Gaol being the third most popular site with 328,886 visitors.

St. Mary’s Church in Gowran, Kilkenny recorded the lowest numbers of site visits at just 2,002, closely followed by Ballyhack Castle in Wexford (2,471) and Scattery Island off the coast of Kilrush in Clare (2,491).


Click here for a larger image of the above table. 

Minister Harris said that these figures relate to sites where the OPW Heritage Services provide guide facilities and where visitor numbers are fully recorded.

He added that there are significantly more visitors to heritage sites in OPW care which are not attended by staff and where there is no facility to record footfall.

“It is clear that there are many more people attending at heritage sites throughout the country than the formally recorded figures would indicate.”

Read: Tourism Ireland hopes this video will send Star Wars fans flocking to Skellig Michael>

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