Lough Gur Visitor Centre has become a welcome addition to the portfolio of visitor attractions under the umbrella of Limerick City & County Council’s subsidiary company Discover Limerick DAC.
The company Discover Limerick DAC was established in 2022 and also operates King John’s Castle. On March 29th Mayor of the City and County of Limerick, Councillor Francis Foley joined guests in Lough Gur to celebrate this important occasion.
Mayor of the City and County of Limerick Cllr Francis Foley commented: “Lough Gur Development as a local community organisation have done tremendous work in this area. Over the last decade and more they have operated Lough Gur Visitor Centre, overseen the full refurbishment of this lakeview centre and added many new amenities for all to enjoy. Their work has raised the profile of this unique location year by year leading to this point today where everyone agrees that Lough Gur Visitor Centre is ready for the next phase in its long history”.
Chairman of Lough Gur Development, Eamonn Boland thanked all involved for playing their part in the successful transition. “The community of Lough Gur and staff have brought facilities in Lough Gur a long way through determination and support from everyone involved. With Discover Limerick DAC at the helm we are sure that the site will continue to flourish in safe hands. We look forward to seeing Lough Gur Visitor Centre and services continue to operate in a way that is conducive to a visitor attraction located in the midst of a thriving community”.
Guests on the day included Discover Limerick DAC Board members, Councillors, volunteers and past Chairpersons of Lough Gur Development including George Finch who, at the age of 17, was the first Chairman of the organisation over 50 years ago. Representatives from the Lough Gur community who gathered on the day voiced how happy they were to welcome Discover Limerick DAC into the heart of Lough Gur.
Manager for Lough Gur Kate Harrold reflected on the time it has taken to find a long term sustainable structure to care for the site of Lough Gur long into the future stating “Discover Limerick DAC is the most appropriate vehicle to take Lough Gur to new heights. The local community organisation Lough Gur Development have done all that they could as volunteers to positively develop the area. Their contributions are to be highly commended”.
Director of Service at Limerick City and County Council, Gordon Daly said: “Tourism is a vital objective for Limerick City and County Council and the positioning now of Lough Gur within the Failte Ireland brand Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands is a great opportunity to drive success into the future.”
Under the umbrella of Discover Limerick DAC, Lough Gur Visitor Centre and associated facilities will continue to interpret the wonders of this immense Limerick landscape located just 20 minutes from Limerick city.
Key attractions include a thatched visitor centre modeled on the shape of Neolithic houses. Adjoining the Visitor Centre is a limekiln top seating area and playground overlooking the expansive lake of Lough Gur. The sprawling 20 acre lakeshore park at the foot of the Visitor Centre steps makes the ideal location for picnics and walks while the welcome kiosk at the entrance point serves fresh barista woodland coffee and refreshments.
For adventurers and those with curious minds the surrounding area is home to a wide variety of globally significant archaeological monuments and historical features. Monuments are maintained and cared for by the Office of Public Works. These include stone forts, castles, wedge tombs and Ireland’s oldest and largest stone circle. According to academics, Lough Gur is the only location in Ireland that has visible evidence of every age of humankind from the beginning to modern times.
To interpret this vast area professionally trained guides deliver tours of Lough Gur Visitor Centre and the surrounding sites offering bespoke experiences ranging from 30 minutes to 3 hours depending on your level of interest and available time. At the event on March 29th tour guides spoke about the many Limerick people who visited Lough Gur as children and now bring their own families to enjoy new and improved amenities. Lough Gur is not only for aficionados of history and archaeology it is a place for all people to enjoy the great outdoors. Visitors are welcome to enjoy Lough Gur throughout the year.