An open invitation is being issued to the public to take part in a fascinating free tour of the world renowned gardens at Doneraile Park.

The tour, which will take place at 2.30pm on Sunday, June 1, will be conducted by members of the Doneraile Development Association (DDA).

The 90-minute tour will offer visitors the opportunity to explore sections of the park they might not be familiar with. The guides will be able to fill people in on the fascinating history of Doneraile Park, its extensive gardens and on plans Office of Public Works (OPW) has to further enhance the Park.

In recent years the OPW has invested more than €500,000 in the Park on a variety of projects including the restoration of its famous Triumphal Arch and the opening of tea rooms. Planning permission has also been granted to convert the lower floor of Doneraile House into a dedicated exhibition space, with work on the project set to get underway shortly.

The programme of works has raised the profile of the Park with a corresponding increase in the number of visitors each year. It has been estimated that 150,000 people passed through the gates in 2013, placing it among the top 20% of Irish visitor attractions.

However, a recent analysis of figures seemed to suggest visitor numbers during 2013 were higher than at first thought. The DDA plan to put that to the test on Monday, June 2 by undertaking a comprehensive count of visitors to the Park during the day.

The purpose of the exercise will be twofold. It will give an accurate representation of visitor numbers and the figures can be used to make a case for additional funding for further enhancement projects within the Park.

Doneraile Development Association are hoping to access tourism grants in the future through Minister Leo Varadkar on the strength of visitor numbers. With that in mind they are asking that people consider visiting the park on the June bank holiday Monday to help strengthen the case for further funding.