Speaking in the Seanad, Fine Gael Senator for Kerry and Government Chief Whip in the Seanad, Paul Coghlan, has called for a meeting of Seanad Éireann to be held in Muckross House in order to mark the 50th anniversary of the opening of the house to the public.
“Muckross House is one of Kerry’s finest visitor attractions and has become a mainstay of the Killarney visitor experience. I believe that it would be appropriate in this the 50th anniversary of the opening of the house to the public that a meeting of the Seanad be held in Muckross House to mark the contribution it has made.
“Muckross, which is now part of the far larger Killarney National Park, has subsequently played host to a variety of Government and State business including Cabinet meetings, Presidential visits and official visits by numerous Taoisigh and Ministers. The house also famously had a significant impact on Queen Victoria when she visited in 1861.
“Muckross House is now a key heritage and tourism asset for the State. There have been many significant achievements at Muckross such as the unique, enduring joint partnership model between the State and a voluntary not for profit body such as the trustees.
“Muckross provides significant permanent and seasonable, sustainable employment and has been awarded a number of ‘Museum of the Year’ awards and ‘Sandford Heritage Educational’ awards as well as museum accreditation. Muckross’ traditional farm, walled garden and the Muckross traditional schoolhouse complements the house itself.
“As a boy I attended the opening of Muckross House by the late Jim Ryan TD, Minister for Finance. The opening of the house, provided the template for the joint partnership model between the State and a voluntary not for profit body such as the trustees.
“We should not forget the people who are associated with Muckross House on behalf of the State such as Dan Kelleher, the then Parks Superintendent and those who followed him, Paddy O’Sullivan, Eamonn Mescal and the present Pat Dawson, Regional Manager NPWS. Their work and dedication has been pivotal in making Muckross House the great success that it is.”