After almost a decade in the making, Youghal in Co. Cork will see its iconic Clock Gate Tower finally open to the public on Friday 11th November 2016 as part of Fáilte Ireland's experience brand, Ireland's Ancient East.
With a price tag of close to €750,000 the building is set to drive many thousands of both domestic and international visitors to the East Cork Town, bringing a much needed €1.4M boost to the local economy on an annual basis. Funding of €200,000 was received from Failte Ireland for the project under the 'Ireland's Ancient East Experience Development Capital Grants Scheme'.
Designed by Scroope Design, the story is unique on a national if not international level, spanning 600 years to the present day. Elements of the story include the building being used as a 'gaol' - which precedes that of Cork Gaol, Kilmainham Gaol and Wexford Gaol heritage sites. Other highlights of the story include that of the McGrath family who lived in the Tower. Visitors will hear directly from John McGrath now in his 70's and still living in Youghal. John tells s the tale of his life from being born in the Tower and the tough conditions the family endured through a wonderful audio visual presentation.
Project Manager for the site, Aileen Murray explains what they set out to achieve with the building: "We really sought to engage the visitor physically and emotionally. We believe we have produced a visitor experience that is 'hands on, minds on and hearts on'. Our tour involves our wonderful storytellers, dressed as 'time', explaining and describing, encouraging participation, inviting questions, listening to visitors, and fostering dialogue. We are sure these elements combined will deliver a valuable and memorable visitor experience".
Owned by Cork County Council, the building was developed on a phased basis since 2008 by the local authority and also included conservation and restoration works funded by South & East Cork Development (SECAD) under European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the National Development Plan.
Youghal Clock Gate Tower will open at 9.00 am on Friday, 11th November 2016. The day will be a celebration for the people of Youghal who will be invited to experience the attraction for themselves with no charge for the entire day. The attraction will subsequently open for tours for the remainder of the weekend. Tours will then operate Thursday - Sunday until April, from which point it will open 7 days a week through until end of September. The cost of entry is €9.50pp and is by way of guided tour only. Further details log onto www.youghalclockgate.ieor call 024-20769.