The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Paschal Donohoe officially re-opened Lough Gur Heritage Centre on the afternoon of Monday February 16th. Over 35 guests were invited to celebrate the €500,000 transformation. The Heritage Centre interprets the archaeology, history, folklore and environmental history through a modern framework of exhibits.


The Lough Gur Heritage Centre has been transform-ed from an inconspicuous building to a modern state of the art facility. Refurbishment works began in November 2012 and were completed in July 2013. The change is truly staggering and in the words of one of the many visitors “it has become an awe inspiring place to explore”.




The Heritage Centre was originally opened by Shannon Heritage in 1981 and was carefully managed as a tourism facility by the umbrella body for 30 years. In 2011 Lough Gur Development Co-operative Society Ltd (a non profit organisation comprised of local residents) with the agreement of Limerick County Council took over management of the Centre to improve and promote the Lough Gur area.


The building and exhibition area were in need of upgrading after serving the public for so many years. In consultation with all the interested stakeholders in Lough Gur, LGD went about a redesign and upgrade process aimed at improving the visitor experience and enhancing the Lough Gur message.


With this in mind the committee of Lough Gur Development and the residents of Lough Gur, with great pride in their newly acquired venture, began intensive fundraising to carry out the necessary refurbishment works. LEADER Funding through Ballyhoura Development Ltd was the main financial contributor allocating €275,000 to the project. Additional supports were offered by Limerick County Council, The JP McManus Foundation and Tourism Cares (a US based organisation involved in the promotion of inter-national tourism).




Lough Gur Development are most grateful to all organisations that contributed to financing the project and also to the social bank Clann Credo, the social investment fund who supplied Lough Gur Development with the necessary loan to commence the project.


The newly refurbished Centre caters for all ages and abilities. For the first time the building is fully wheelchair accessible. Chairman of Lough Gur Development Tom Flynn stated “Lough Gur Development extends a warm welcome to everyone to experience the history, archaeology and folklore of Lough Gur, which is now on display at the Centre.” Since opening on July 6th 2013 groups such as ATC Language Centre, Abbey Tours along with national and international adventure seekers have received 5 star service when they enter through the doorway of the Neolithic styled Centre.


Lough Gur Development currently lease the building from Limerick City and County Council. The lake and land around the Heritage Centre is owned by and cared for by the Council.


Since opening after refurbishment works, the visitor numbers have more than doubled from 15k to 35k in the first year. Numbers continue to grow.


Patrons of Lough Gur Development include international rugby referee George Clancy, theologian Dr. Nóirín Ní Riain, historian Michael Quinlan, actor Jon Kenny and senior archaeologist in UCC Rose Cleary.


Lough Gur Development run a number of festivals and events throughout the year including the Summer Solstice Festival, the Storytelling Festival and also run the Honey Fitz Theatre located 2km from the Heritage Centre.


As Lough Gur Develop-ment open a new chapter in the history of the Heritage Centre it is with great enthusiasm and appreciation that the organisation moves forward into a new era. Creating employment, promoting the area and building confidence in a growing market are all top priorities for the new community enterprise.


The Centre is open 12 months of the year from Monday to Sunday inclusive.