Posted in Connect on January 5, 2018.

Mayo County Council are pleased to announce that it has acquired Moorehall from Coillte and intends to enhance and develop it for the benefit of the people of Mayo and the Nation. The property being acquired comprises some eighty acres of woodland estate overlooking Lough Carra, including the house, courtyard and walled garden. The estate will be developed in collaboration with the National Parks and Wildlife Service, of the Department of Culture Heritage and the Gaeltacht, who are strongly supportive of the project.

Moorehall is of national historic significance, the ancestral home of John Moore first President of the Republic of Connaught and of the renowned Moore literary writers. The history of the family and of Moorehall is closely intertwined with significant events in the history of our emerging Nation including the 1798 French invasion, the Irish literary renaissance of the late 19th and early 20th centuries and the Civil War.

Mr Richard Finn, Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council, said “I welcome this important investment which I believe will be widely welcomed by people living in and visiting the county.  Moorehall is a place of exceptional history, going back many generations, the remnants which are still visible on its historic landscape. The acquisition of Moorehall by the Council will ensure that the heritage of Moorehall is preserved not just for this generation but for future generations”

The Council propose to develop the estate as a nationally important nature reserve, tourism attraction and is a key component of the Councils long term Tourism Strategy of developing outstanding tourism products and experiences across Mayo.

Mr Peter Hynes, Chief Executive said “The acquisition of Moorehall is a very exciting initiative that has significant potential in the areas of tourism, public amenity and cultural development. The development of a strategic partnership between Mayo County Council and the National Parks and Wildlife Service, addresses a longstanding plan to preserve and develop a very important historic landscape, house and environment. I believe this partnership presents an exceptional opportunity to maximise the potential of Moorehall and the wider Lough Carra area in the years ahead”.

A unique strategic partnership between Mayo County Council and the National Park and Wildlife Service of the Department of Culture Heritage and the Gaeltacht,  will ensure that the natural, built and cultural heritage of Moorehall is protected yet developed and managed in a sustainable manner for current and future generations.

Mr Denis Strong, Divisional Manager, National Parks and Wildlife Service of the Department of Culture Heritage and the Gaeltacht, said “Moorehall is an internationally important scientific and nature conservation site. We look forward to working with the Council in providing expertise on the management of the natural habitats and, in particular,  the protected bat species for which the site is designated a Special area of Conservation.

A new Masterplan for the estate will be developed by both partners in consultation with stakeholders and the local community and will include the development of a recreational park, conservation measures and restoration of the historic walled garden to coincide with the upcoming national centenary celebrations of the foundation of the state.

Michael Ring, Minister for Rural and Community Development said, “I am delighted to be associated with this major announcement on Moorehall which undoubtedly demonstrates that the Council is focused on developing potential tourism assets throughout the county to foster rural job creation. This project will complement existing tourism attractions in the area including Ballintubber Abbey,  Lough Carra and historic Ballinrobe.  This is an excellent example of a tourism project where the benefits can seep into rural villages and towns.

Mr Richard Lowe, Commercial Director of Coillte Land Solutions, said: “Having been approached by Mayo County Council, Coillte are delighted to be facilitating their plans to develop Moorehall as a nationally significant tourism attraction and public amenity area. We warmly support this initiative, which will greatly enhance Ireland’s responsible sustainable tourism offering as well as provide benefits for both the national and regional economy.”

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