€213,000 tourism grant to restore Shackleton Gardens – Varadkar

The Shackleton Gardens in Beech Park, Clonsilla will be restored as a visitor attraction thanks to a grant of €213,000 from Failte Ireland, local TD and Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar has confirmed.

Fingal County Council will provide matching funding of around €200,000, on top of Failte’s grant, and will press ahead with plans to restore the gardens and re-open them to the general public.

“This financial support from Failte Ireland will allow the gardens to be restored to their former glory. In the longer-term, I’m very excited about the idea of promoting the gardens’ link to the explorer Ernest Shackleton and the broader Shackleton family,” Minister Varadkar said.

“Shackleton Gardens is a hidden gem tucked away in Beech Park, Clonsilla. It’s got great potential as a visitor attraction, because historic gardens are increasingly popular with tourists. It will also be popular as an amenity for local residents.”

The board of Failte Ireland signed off this week on the funding of €213,000 for the Shackleton Gardens, which fell into disrepair in recent years. The gardens have great potential as a visitor attraction because of their collection of rare and exotic plants, and their links with the famous explorer Ernest Shackleton.

The Shackleton Gardens were previously ranked as one of the premier walled gardens in Ireland. The site covers 1.5 acres and in the 1990s was ranked as one of the top four gardens for herbaceous borders in Ireland or the UK.

In the longer-term, it is hoped to develop a visitor centre about the Shackleton family with a particular focus on Ernest Shackleton and his explorations.