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King Johns Castle Funding Announced – €400,000

Business owners, locals and interested parties arrived at Ghan House in Carlingford this morning, with keen interest to listen to Minister for Tourism Patrick O’ Donovan.

Welcomed with generous amounts of tea, coffee, tasty biscuits and scones ordained with Ireland’s Ancient Easts logo. Minister O’Donovan today arrived around 10:30 am with a team of people from the Office of Public works, Fáilte Ireland and locally elected representatives. Minister O’ Donovan visited Carlingford to make an announcement. There was definite excitement in the air.

What will be announced?

Better parking?

Better investment in the Heritage sites?

“Storytelling is vital in making the connection with visitors and while we have the assets, we still need to bring them to life.  A signature theme within the Ireland’s Ancient East brand is ‘Castles and Conquests’ and this funding will allow us to develop the visitor experience in Carlingford to bring this historic castle to life and to animate the history that lies within its walls.”

Minister Patrick O’Donovan announced a fantastic amount of €400k in funding from Fáilte Ireland’s Capital Grants Allocation for 2017 to the Office of Public Works (OPW) for the continued development of the iconic King John’s Castle in Carlingford.

The investment is badly needed.

King Johns Castle was initially built by Hugh DeLacy, but there is evidence it was perched on the rock long before DeLacys men put the hammer to stone. The site got its name from Englands King John. King John (famous from Robin Hoods classics)  invaded Ireland and met his nemesis Walter DeLacy where he fought him for ownership of Irelands East.

There is no evidence that King John stayed in Carlingford but it often rumoured he did. So, in quintessential Irish fashion, the title King John’s Castle seems to have been applied to the Castle either sarcastically or claim to fame.

In addition, the project includes the provision of performance infrastructure which will allow for the castle to be used as a setting for cultural events – providing an ideal platform for arts events against the dramatic backdrop of Carlingford Lough and the Cooley Mountains.

Today’s funding is the latest part of a significant €1.2 million refurbishment project carried out by the OPW at King John’s Castle in Carlingford. The project seeks to enhance the castle with better internal access for visitors,  improved visitor facilities including information and interpretation in line with Irelands Ancient Easts overall branding mission all topped off with attractive landscaping.   Ultimately the grant means people will finally be able to enjoy King Johns Castle from within as opposed to viewing it from afar.

Seán Canney our current Minister for the Office of Public Works and Flood Relief commented on the announcement –

“I am delighted that Fáilte Ireland has invested in King John’s Castle in Carlingford.  It is a wonderful project that will enable visitors to enter the interior of the Castle for the first time, thereby, increasing tourism potential in the beautiful medieval town of Carlingford.  The funding under the Tourism Investment Programme will allow the story of the history of this 12th Century Castle to be brought to the visitor and will provide a platform for a range of events, creating an ideal location to begin your exploration of Ireland’s Ancient East.”

To read more about this announcement.


Dundalk Democrat –


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