Fine Gael Meath East TD, Regina Doherty, has welcomed the news that the ‘Free Day’ for heritage sites on the first Wednesday of every month will continue this year. Deputy Doherty said the initiative, run by the Office of Public Works, is clearly working, as visitor numbers at the Battle of the Boyne site have jumped by 142%.
“I am delighted that Minister of State for the OPW, Brian Hayes, has decided to extend this initiative, which gives visitors free access to heritage sites on the first Wednesday of every month. This is a great way of encouraging locals and visitors to explore the huge array of fantastic historical sites on offer across the country.
“The initiative has been a huge success in Co. Meath, where ‘Free Wednesday’ led to an extra 1,000 people visiting the Battle of the Boyne site and visitor centre. In total, visitor numbers jumped by 142% on free admissions days in the second half of last year, compared with the same days a year earlier.
“Tourism is a valuable contributor to the local economy in Meath, and a vital source of jobs. Boosting visitor numbers at attractions like the Battle of the Boyne has a very positive knock on impact for the towns and villages nearby who benefit from increased footfall and traffic as people spend time in the area. People who take a day out to visit a heritage site are likely to stop for a bite to eat, or to do some shopping, all of which is of major benefit to local businesses.
“I hope people from across Meath, as well as people visiting the county, will take the chance to avail of our world class heritage sites over the coming months.”