Sprinkling of film star dust at open day at Limerick's Glin Castle

Norma Prendiville

Reporter:

Norma Prendiville

Glin Castle and Gardens will be open to members of the public for one day only at the end of the month

Glin Castle and Gardens will be open to members of the public for one day only at the end of the month

GLIN Castle and Gardens will be open to members of the public for one day only at the end of the month.

But visitors are likely to get more than a tour and a cup of tea as film and TV star Dominic West and his wife Catherine Fitzgerald, daughter of the late Knight of Glin, are expected to be in residence on the day.

The couple have been developing projects for the castle since it was taken off the market over a year ago.

A number of specialist, high-end food and artistic weekends have been held there and more recently it has been rented in its entirety by holidaymakers from abroad.

But the strong ties between the Castle and the town continue with the open day, which has proven to be a top fundraiser for the Glin Development Association, said John Anthony Culhane, chairman of the association.

“The Castle visits will begin at mid-day on Sunday, July 29, and will continue until 6pm,” he explained adding that admission will be €10 per person. Refreshments will be available and a raffle will also be held.

All monies will be used to develop an interpretative and visitor centre in the library building, formerly the Garda barracks. An application for funding has also been made to the Town and Village Renewal scheme.

Meanwhile, Glin Development Association is preparing to launch a new vision for the future of the town.

The Glin Public Realm and Tourism Plan was commissioned by Limerick City and County Council in partnership with the Development Association at the end of 2016 and was carried out in consultation with local groups and individuals. 

“It is intended to provide a blueprint for future development in the town,” Mr Culhane said.

“It  sets out a series of actions from nine different projects. The projects vary in size and complexity. Some, we hope can be delivered in the short-term but others are likely to take longer. It all depends on funds in the end.”

Cllr John Sheahan also stressed that funding was critical if the public realm plan is to become a reality.

“Launching the plan is a good first step,” he said. “It is a vision of what we want to do in the next ten years. Our hope is that having the plan in place will help open the doors to future funding. That is the whole point of doing this. Because where you have a plan and a vision, and all the statutory requirements, you are in a good place to apply for funds.”

Most of the nine projects identified have to do with a facelift for Glin and involve  a new-look square, improved approaches to the town and to Church St as well as to the pier. A special section deals with enhancing tourism.

The Public Realm and Tourism Plan will be launched in the library in Glin at 7.30pm on Saturday, July 28. All are welcome to attend and a warm welcome is extended to those who want to take part in the Glin Castle Open Day on Sunday, July 29.