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Published on May 27, 2015
Simon Harris TD, Minister of State with special responsibility for the Office of Public Works (OPW) today (18 May 2015) welcomed President Michael D. Higgins to the National Botanic Gardens in Kilmaccuragh for the official opening of the newly completed tearooms.
Speaking at the gardens Minister Harris said: "I am delighted to welcome President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins to Kilmacurragh House and Gardens for the official opening of The Acton Café. My office, the OPW, continues to carry out enhancement works at this wonderful estate and it comes as no surprise to me that there were over 50,000 visitors in 2014. I am sure that the appropriately named Tearooms will serve to further enhance the visitor experience here in Kilmacurragh".
The Acton Family built Kilmacurragh house in 1697 and seven generations lived in the house until 1944 when the estate was sold. The arboretum has been managed by the National Botanic Gardens since 1996 but by then the house was in ruins due to a series of disastrous fires in 1978 and 1982. In 1996, a 52 acre (21 ha) portion of the old demesne comprising the house, arboretum, entrance drive and woodlands came under the management of the Office of Public Works. In 2010 the Garden was formally recognised in its own right and renamed the 'National Botanic Gardens, Kilmacurragh'.
The Minister added: "These gardens, as managed by my office, are an important addition to the National Botanic Gardens and the mild Wicklow climate allows for Himalayan and Southern Hemisphere species to thrive here. Regular visitors enjoy the spectacular rhododendron collections in late Spring which we see here today. I am pleased to note that this is the first time that public tearooms will be available at Kilmacurragh House since the middle of the last century ".
Kilmacurragh House and Gardens, Co. Wicklow: Location: The estate is located south of Dublin in east Wicklow. 3km from the N11 road between Wicklow town and Rathdrum. Free guided tours twice daily from April onwards: 12pm & 3pm. New Acton Café will provide refreshments and food at this popular Wicklow destination.
Please check the website or locally for seasonally themed guided tours. Group tours should be pre booked. For all tours and events please meet at the car park.
For details of all events please see www.botanicgardens.ie/news/events