At a time when the Association of Visitor Experiences and Attractions (Avea) have reported declines of up to 10 per cent for 2019 at the country’s top tourist attractions, concern has been expressed locally at the continual fall in visitor numbers at Boyle Abbey.
Visitor figures for 2019 for the Abbey are not available yet with the 12th century tourist attraction only closing on September 25th for the winter period.
The most recent figures to hand for 2018 show visitor numbers of only 6,799.
Visitors to Boyle Abbey in 2017 totalled 7,772 while 2016 showed 7,856 and 6,919 in 2015.
By comparison, Parkes Castle in Sligo had 21,392 visitors in 2018 while Sligo Abbey had 22,573 and Trim Castle 107,145.
The most visited OPW attraction in Ireland in 2018 was Kilkenny Castle and Parklands with 799,032 visitors.
Concern has been expressed locally at the fall off in visitor numbers with calls for better marketing and promotion of the facility.
According to Heritage Ireland “Boyle Abbey is an impressive and well preserved Cistercian Monastery which was founded in the 12th century under the patronage of the local ruling family, the MacDermotts. Though mutilated during the 17th and 18th centuries when it was used to accommodate a military garrison, Boyle Abbey nevertheless retains its ability to impress the visitor as one of the most formidable of the early Cistercian foundations in Ireland. A restored gatehouse of 16th/17th century houses an exhibition”.
Boyle Abbey is in the care of the Office of Public Works.
(Pic courtesy Hexicam)