Plans to enhance entry to sites in Ireland

Nicola Pemberton of Friends of Manx National Heritage, Niall Bergin of OPW and Edmund Southworth director of Manx National Heritage at Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin

Nicola Pemberton of Friends of Manx National Heritage, Niall Bergin of OPW and Edmund Southworth director of Manx National Heritage at Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin

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Representatives from the Isle of Man and Ireland met at the iconic Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin to discuss enhancing membership schemes to enter historic sites.

Manx National Heritage director Edmund Southworth and development and admin officer for the Friends of Manx National Heritage Nicola Pemberton travelled to Ireland to meet with the Office of Public Works, the agency responsible for State-managed heritage sites throughout Ireland.

In 2014, MNH signed a reciprocal agreement with OPW enhancing its membership scheme in Ireland, which is operated by the Friends of Manx National Heritage.

The agreement enables members who are resident in the Isle of Man to use their membership cards at a range of historic properties in Ireland and receive free or reduced admission to properties operated by the National Trust, English Heritage, Scottish National Trust, Historic Scotland, Cadw, York Archaeological Trust sites.

They are also entitled to free or reduced admission to properties controlled by the Trusts of Australia, New Zealand, The Cayman Islands, Bermuda and Malta. In return OPW cardholders can use their cards at Manx National Heritage sites throughout the Isle of Man.

Opportunities to develop the agreement and strengthen the cultural links with Ireland were discussed at the meeting.

Mr Southworth said: ‘The Isle of Man has close cultural connections with Ireland from family history to Neolithic burials, Christian sites, Vikings, 19th Century fishing fleets and world famous motorcycle racing.

‘With such close connections, we are keen to encourage our members to visit heritage attractions in Ireland, whilst also encouraging OPW cardholders to explore and enjoy the Isle of Man.

OPW has responsibility for 780 national monuments and historic properties throughout Ireland.

Frank Shalvey of the OPW heritage service said: ‘Friends of Manx Heritage members will be warmly welcomed should they decide to make the short trip to Ireland and they feel sure they will appreciate what we have to offer.

‘We look forward also to continuing our relationship with the Friends so that our own heritage card holders will visit the wonderful historic sites in the island and benefit from the rich opportunities they present.’

Membership to the Friends can be purchased at any MNH site and online at www.friendsofmnh.org

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