Minister Harris welcomes Irish Sign Language Tours at OPW Heritage Sites

Simon Harris T.D., Minister of State with special responsibility for the Office of Public Works (OPW) is delighted to announce that the OPW, working in conjunction with the Centre for Deaf Studies, at Trinity College Dublin (T.C.D.) will offer a programme of Irish Sign Language interpreted tours at a number of OPW heritage sites in January and February 2015.

The programme will commence in Dublin Castle on Sunday 18 January with free signed tours of the Castle available to members of the deaf and hard of hearing community. The initiative will continue in Farmleigh House on Saturday 31 January and Sunday 1 February, with more sites planned for later in the Spring.

Announcing the project, the Minister said, "I am delighted to extend this invitation to members of the Deaf Community and I wish to thank the Centre for Deaf Studies in T.C.D. for partnering with us on the initiative. The OPW has many wonderful heritage sites where guided services, including informative tours, are provided. Regrettably, the Deaf Community can often be somewhat restricted when accessing heritage sites. The placement of fourth year interpretation students at OPW visitor sites is beneficial for all parties concerned. The students are gaining valuable work experience, the appreciation of OPW heritage sites is now reaching a wider audience and, most importantly of all, the Deaf Community are being provided with an interpretation service at some of Ireland's iconic heritage sites."

The Minister further stated "I would like to invite members of the Deaf Community to participate with all concerned in this marvellous programme and I wish to sincerely thank the Centre for Deaf Studies for participating with us on the scheme. Trinity College Dublin has long been associated with the development of high calibre programmes in Deaf Studies, delivered by the Centre for Deaf Studies and it is an honour for the OPW to work with the Centre. I am sure that this project will provide members of the Deaf Community with a wonderful opportunity to more fully participate in the visitor experience at the sites within our care, giving them the opportunity to learn more of the intriguing history of these fabulous sites."

Free Admission to Irish & Isle of Man Heritage Sites for OPW Heritage Card holders

Ms. Clare McGrath, Chairman of the Office of Public Works (OPW) has announced that the OPW and the Friends of Manx National Heritage have reached a reciprocal arrangement, which provides free admission for Heritage Card holders to their heritage sites.

Ms. McGrath said, "I am delighted to announce these reciprocal arrangements and I would like to welcome and encourage FMNH members to come and visit the wonderful range of heritage sites that Ireland has to offer.  The OPW has responsibility for 780 National Monuments and Historic Properties and provides a guide service at 70 of these, including such iconic sites as Kilmainham Gaol, The Rock of Cashel and Clonmacnoise. Current and future holders of OPW's Heritage Card will now enjoy the additional benefit of free admission to Manx National Heritage sites throughout the Isle of Man."

The Chairman concluded "This arrangement follows on from an agreement concluded with English Heritage in 2012, and other initiatives are currently being explored with similar organisations."


For full details of the OPW's Heritage sites, visit 

For full details of Isle of Man Heritage sites, visit 

For further information, please contact or


Free Admission for Holders of Heritage Cards issued by English Heritage

As announced by Minister of State Brian Hayes during the summer, the Office of Public Works now offers free access to the heritage sites under its management to holders of Heritage Cards issued by English Heritage. 

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